Antonio Brown on search committee for CMU AD

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
Antonio Brown

Football coach John Bonamego, NFL star Antonio Brown and women's basketball coach Sue Guevara headline a 16-person panel that will hire Central Michigan's next athletic director.

The university, in a somewhat-unusual move, announced Thursday it would not hire a national search firm to headhunt candidates to replace Dave Heeke.

In three weeks, Heeke moves to his new job as athletic director at Arizona.

Search firms, which can range in cost from $20,000 to $100,000 for their services, are typically hired to protect the confidentiality of candidates who might not want their interest in the job getting back to their current employers. Search firms need not comply with Freedom of Information Act requests. Theoretically, that decision could hinder the number of outside candidates who officially apply.

Central Michigan president George E. Ross said the university passed on a search firm because "the world knows Central Michigan University is hiring an athletics director."

"The committee will have many high-quality candidates to assess and interview," Ross said in a statement released by the university.

Serving on the committee will be:

* Luke Anderson, Student Government Association representative;

* Bonamego, head coach, football;

* Brown, former student-athlete, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver;

* Cali Clark, human resources representative;

* James Fabiano Sr., national capital campaign steering committee;

* Mike Franckowiak, national capital campaign steering committee;

* Cristy Freese, executive associate athletics director/sports administration;

* Guevara, head coach, women's basketball;

* Jan Hagland, national alumni board;

* Bill Kanine, Central Michigan trustee;

* Dave Keilitz, national capital campaign steering committee, retired Central Michigan athletic director;

* Kristen Knutson, student-athlete, women's soccer;

* Kevin Love, faculty athletics representative;

* Alysa Lucas, faculty athletics committee;

* Bob Martin, vice president for advancement; and

* Stan Shingles, assistant vice president, university recreation.

Martin will be the chairperson of the committee. The search for Heeke's replacement begins immediately, the university said.

Heeke, an East Lansing native, was named Central Michigan athletic director in December 2005. In a contract that was to run through December 2017, he earned an annual salary of $245,000, plus bonuses based on sports-teams performances.

There was no buyout clause in Heeke's contract. He was required to give 30 days' notice.

Marcy Weston, a former field hockey, basketball and volleyball coach, was named interim athletic director earlier this month.

Twitter @tonypaul1984