Firm, search committee to help hire new EMU AD

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Eastern Michigan University is taking the two-pronged approach to hiring its next athletic director.

The university has hired a national search firm, Parker Executive Search, and also has a 12-person search committee made up of school officials. Hiring a search firm, at between $15,000 and $25,000, allows the school to keep names of candidates private.

Among the members of the search committee, interestingly, is interim AD Christian Spears.

The other members are:

■ Howard Booth: professor emeritus of biology, men’s track assistant coach;

■ Larry Borum: incoming vice president of student government;

■ Jack Brusewitz: vice chair of EMU Foundation Board of Trustees;

■ Chris Creighton: head football coach;

■ Gloria Hage: university general counsel;

■ Erin Kido: senior associate athletic director;

■ Abi Olajuwon: assistant women’s basketball coach;

■ Sue Parks: head women’s track, cross-country coach;

■ Lauren Pottschmidt: incoming president of student-athlete advisory committee;

■ Ray Quiel: associate professor of communications, president of faculty senate;

■ Ed Sidlow: professor of political science; NCAA faculty athletics representative.

Hage and Kido will co-chair the search committee.

Eastern Michigan is looking for a replacement for Heather Lyke, who left to take the same job at Pittsburgh.

The next athletic director will face his or her share of challenges, especially after the athletic department took so much heat last summer for its programs being so heavily subsidized by student-tuition dollars. Eastern Michigan also is early in a massive capital campaign, seeking to raise tens of millions for new athletic facilities, including a football practice facility.

Eastern Michigan also used the Parker search firm when it went looking for its new university president. James Smith was hired in the summer of 2016.

In its search for a new AD, Central Michigan didn’t hire a search firm, but relied on a 16-person committee, which last week identified its four finalists to replace Dave Heeke (Arizona). The formal interviews will take place over the next week.