Topics: Administrative, Athletics

October 8, 2014

Ball State today announced the selection of a 12-member search committee charged with finding the university’s next athletic director.

“This is a critically important position for us to fill with the right person for this time at Ball State,” said President Paul W. Ferguson. “To that end, we have assembled a talented and representative search committee ensuring the input of community, faculty, administration, alumni, students and foundation board members.”

The search committee will be chaired by Charlene Alexander, faculty athletics representative, and include Hudson Akin, vice president for advancement; Kay Bales, vice president for student affairs; Audrey Bickel, Ball State athlete and graduate student in sports administration; Sali Falling, vice president and university general counsel; Carey Fisher, Cardinal Varsity Club and community member; Brian Hardin, deputy athletic director; Dave Heeter, Cardinal Varsity Club and community representative; Julie Hopwood, senior adviser to the president; Brady Sallee, head women’s basketball coach; Mike Smith, a member of the Ball State Foundation board of directors, Cardinal Varsity Club and a community representative; and Tony Smith, a member of the Ball State Foundation board of directors, Cardinal Varsity Club and a community representative.

The committee is charged with developing a realistic, but aggressive, timeline and process for the search, developing a search process that fully engages a diverse group of qualified candidates and recommending three to five finalists for the president to interview.

In order to attract the most qualified candidates, the search is confidential.

“The role of the AD has become increasingly complex and integrated with the strategic direction of the institution,” Ferguson said. “We are looking for an individual with a deep commitment to program ethics and compliance, to an excellent student-athlete experience including student success on and off the playing field, and a commitment to the competitive spirit.

“The successful candidate also must be dedicated to strong strategic and fiscal stewardship, fundraising, and creating and maintaining outstanding sports facilities.”

In addition to naming the committee, Ferguson announced the appointment of Brian Hardin as interim athletic director. Hardin, who has served Ball State as a deputy athletic director since February 2013, served as director of football media relations at Notre Dame for seven years before coming to Ball State and worked for the Chicago Bears in media relations for four years before that. He is a graduate of Marquette University and has attended the Sports Management Institute. As a member of the search committee, Hardin is not a candidate for the AD position.

“Brian brings to this interim position a strong background in athletics management and external affairs and will work with us to ensure continuity and advocacy for Cardinal athletics,” Ferguson said.

“I want to thank President Ferguson for this tremendous opportunity,” Hardin said. “The Ball State athletics department is in a great place and is experiencing success in several areas. It is important that the momentum continues during this interim period and I am honored to help facilitate that continued progress.”