Webster University Athletics interviewed four candidates for athletic director position during the month of March. Webster Athletics will offer a candidate the position by mid-April.
In 2013, Webster University’s Head women’s Volleyball Coach Merry Graf was named interim athletic director after Tom Hart, Webster’s former athletic director, left for the same position at Berry College in Georgia.
When the new semester started in 2014, the search for a permanent athletic director began. In January, a search committee was formed, and advertisements for the position were placed on three collegiate websites: NCAA.org, NACWAA.org, and Webster’s human resource website. Ralph Olliges, associate professor and chair on the new athletic director search committee, said the pool of candidates has been narrowed down to four candidates; Scott Kilgallon, Joe Hakes, Sarah Pelster and Rick Goeb.
Olliges said each candidate visited the campus during March. Students, faculty, athletes, the Associate Provost Nancy Hellerud, Graf and the search committee all interviewed the candidates.
Graf said that each coach in the athletic department has been involved in the search. Graf said the coaches wrote the committee a letter listing qualities they would like to see in the next athletic director.
Some of the expectations listed for the athletic director position included:
• Responsibility over all athletic department plans and finances as well as the supervision of employees and facilities.
• To oversee all employees, including head coaches and the athletic staff, in addition to setting and enforcing the policies and procedures of the athletic department.
• To cooperate and ensure relationships with the campus offices, student affairs, academic affairs, admissions and alumni.
President of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC) Jordan Fosburgh has sat in on all of the candidates’ interviews.
“We got to talk to them about why they wanted the position and basically the visions they have,” Fosburgh said.
SAAC is made up of student-athletes assembled to provide insight on the student-athlete experience. The SAAC also offers input on the rules, regulations and polices that affect student athletes’ lives on NCAA-member institutions.
Each group that met with the candidates filled out an evaluation sheet for each candidate. The search committee used those evaluations to establish a list of strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.
“A decision should be made soon and an offer will be made to one of the candidates likely by mid-April,” Olliges said.