November 18, 2018

Search for new director of athletics begins

In the fall of 2013, Merry Graf was named interim athletic director after Tom Hart, Webster University’s former athletic director, took a similar position at Berry College in Georgia.

 
A semester later, the search for a permanent athletic director has begun. A search committee has formed, and advertisements for the position have been placed on three collegiate websites.

 
Amy Bommarito, athletics department coordinator, said she placed the full description of the opening on NCAA.org, NACWAA.org (National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators) and Webster’s Human Resource website.

 
Some of the expectations listed in the job requirement of the athletic director  include:
—Being in charge of all department plans and finances as well as supervising the employees and facilities of the athletic department.
—Overseeing all employees, including head coaches and the athletic staff, and setting and enforcing the policies  and procedures of the athletic department.
—Cooperating and ensuring relationships with the campus offices, student affairs, academic affairs, admissions and alumni.

 
Bommarito said she placed the advertisements in early January, around the time the search committee formed.

 
Ralph Olliges, associate professor and chair on the committee, said the group met to outline how the committee will function.
“We met to set up the logistics and (organize) what we are going to do and how we are going to do it,” Olliges said.

 
Olliges said when Webster receives résumés for the position, the documents will be sent to an online dropbox for committee members to review individually. Members will compile a list of around 10 candidates they think are fit for the job.

 
In the next meeting, expected around mid-February, members will discuss their choices and determine which candidates will be contacted for phone interviews.

 
Olliges said he would be unable to release the exact number of people  who have applied for the position so far, but said Webster “has many interested candidates.”

 
Olliges said that the coaches at Webster will also have input in the process and be involved in the group interviews with candidates.
Olliges said the coaches wrote the committee a letter listing the qualities they would like to see in their next athletic director. These qualities, Olliges said, are similar to those the search committee is hunting for.

 
Ollgies said the selection of a new athletic director will hopefully take place at the end of the spring semester. After that, Graf’s day-to-day will revolve more around the volleyball team.

 
Graf said she decided not to apply for the full time athletic director position because coaching volleyball is her true passion.
“I still have a lot to accomplish on the volleyball court with my team,” Graf said. “There’s no way you can tear me away from volleyball.”
Graf said that the next athletic director will be coming into a “great situation” in Webster’s athletics department.

 
“The coaches and staff that we have are phenomenal at what they do. I think the position is just right to come in and take (Webster athletics) to the next level.”

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