Smatresk: AD decision should come Tuesday

Finalists Livengood, Moos and Johnson will each take part in public forums during final visits to campus

Updated Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 | 12:40 a.m.

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Neal Smatresk

UNLV this morning released the names of the three finalists for its open athletic director post. University President Neal Smatresk had earlier confirmed the names to the Sun.

In the end, the next AD either will be Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood, Washington State senior associate athletic director John Johnson or former Oregon athletic director Bill Moos.

All three have significant, successful experience in the commanding position within athletic departments, and according to Smatresk, that was part of what made all three appealing.

"I'd say it's fair to say that an experienced and highly connected, networked individual is attractive to us, someone who's been there, done that," he said over the phone in between meetings Wednesday afternoon. "Someone who's built an athletic program, maintained it and kept it in the black."

Smatresk said one candidate will be in town for a visit and interview on Friday, with another to follow Monday and the third on Tuesday. He also said a decision on who takes over as UNLV's new athletic director should be expected by Tuesday night.

"It's already been longer than I would have wished for," Smatresk added. "But given the pool (of candidates) and some of the timing problems we've had, we feel pretty happy that we'll be able to bring it to a conclusion next Tuesday.

"I would like to think that we'll be having very serious talks. I'm going to try to keep my finger on the pulse of what different groups are saying, including athletics, cabinet, alums and major donors."

In an added twist, the university announced later in the day on Wednesday that all three candidates, when on campus, will take part in a public forum at the UNLV Student Union Ballroom. The first candidate to visit will be Johnson on Friday, with a public forum beginning at 3 p.m. As for times with Moos and Livengood on Monday and Tuesday, due to scheduling conflicts currently being ironed out, details will be released later.

Out of the running as of Tuesday night were both top local candidates — interim AD Jerry Koloskie and South Point Arena general manager Steve Stallworth, who is also a former UNLV quarterback.

Another one-time candidate who was believed to be a favorite among the search committee, according to sources — UCLA senior associate athletic director Ross Bjork — is also out of the running. That was confirmed to the Sun late Tuesday night.

Livengood, 62, has held the AD position at Arizona since January 1994 and has the public backing of close friend and former university system Chancellor Jim Rogers.

Moos was the athletic director at Oregon from 1995 to 2007 and fits what UNLV needs in one key area — his ability to raise funds. He helped to more than double Oregon's athletic budget during his tenure in Eugene and was a driving force behind several key facilities improvements.

Johnson, who was the athletic director at Weber State from 1997 to 2004, currently works as a senior associate AD at Washington State.

One major question to come from the public with the group of finalists involves hunger for both the position and success, given that all three are veterans who have achieved success elsewhere.

Smatresk believes that's not an issue.

"All I want to say is they're a highly qualified group," he said. "And quite frankly, I think any one of them can do the job."

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  1. So glad no local candidates made it to the final round. I mean do you really want a stable boy running UNLV's athletic department? Or someone that runs a third rate no-name bowl game? And it still isn't clear what role Koloskie had in the athletic department before being put in the interim AD spot. Hell, I emailed my remume but they said they weren't taking applican

  2. Well, since Bjork is out, I'll go Moos.

  3. Bill Moos is the best candidate. This is the AD UNLV needs.

  4. Where's the money coming from to pay this individual? Last I heard the Governor said the State of Nevada was out of money. Guess they are going to cut the classified payroll again. Nice for the common folks of Nevada!

  5. Just an FYI, Livengood is 64 years old. Please hire Moos! He not only built up Oregon to a top notch school he made Montana the elite in the FCS. This should be a no brainer... But we all know who really calls all the shots in this town!

  6. Echo Sofaking!!

  7. If Livengood ends up with this job the fix was on!!

  8. Bill Moos should be the man here.

    If Livengood is hired, Smatresk better have a real good explanation as to why or just come out and say "Jim Rogers made me"

  9. Without Nike founder Phil Knight donating tens of millions at Oregon, Moos would look pretty ordinary.

  10. If Livengood gets this job he is going to bring with him Zonas D-coordinator for the HC job here and once again UNLV will be screwed. That is why Livengood is not the right hire for this job. There are good head coaches who are interested in this job and he is going to go right past them by his own agenda. The fix is in because the best candidates will not be hired for either position. I'm sure public support of this university will be there next year with these guys in charge. Just look at Smatresk in that picture what a goofy looking dork with a mean overbite and I am supposed to trust this guy?

    A watchdog website is reporting the only thing holding this up right now is a few contract issues between Smatresk & Livengood, UNLV & UofA.

  11. Bill Moos is our man.
    IDK why we are even considering candidates from Washington State, they have had the worst teams in football EVER in the last couple years. You really have to be dumb to be that bad especially when you have the recruiting advantage of being in the Pac 10. WSU is not very good in basketball either.

  12. BetOnBlack you must not be around the T&M much..because us UNLV basketball fans like Smatresk. He is a good guy and cares about sports unlike any other University President.

    Smatresk also said that any major decision that the new AD makes MUST go through him first.

  13. Bet, way to judge a book by the cover, I'm sure I'll see you on the next issue of America's sexiest guy.

    akbball, Washington seems to have a good year going on in bball right now, football has its ups and downs, but so does every other sport.

    Livengood isn't the worst pick people, AZ has had good tradition and gave us a run for our money this season. I'll agree with the age, but he may love what he does and could be in the business til he's 90 for all we know. Don't know the guy.

  14. Bet, Oscar Goodman isn't the prettiest thing to walk the earth either and as far as I can tell, he does right by the community. Don't see what looks have to do with anything.

  15. Stop pretending like you know and learn something.

    I have several friends that work for UNLV and all of them have given me glowing reviews of Neal Smastrek. I've been told personally, not by some website, that he has a great vision for the future of UNLV not only in sports, but academically and culturally.

  16. I think suffrin is Ed Graney over at the LVRJ.

  17. Anyone interested in Bobby Hauck being the next UNLV football coach there is a group on facebook. Bobby Hauck for UNLV Head Coach of Football

  18. I'm sure your an ugly fat kid and live in your moms basement and you cant get out of the house so you like just degrading others.

    Why degrade someone who is going to help out the basketball program? Come on man, show some class. Just a little?

  19. What people should be focused on right now (especially reporters), is who each of these men would favor as a new head football coach. Now, THAT would be an interesting piece of information to know before the final announcement is made Tuesday. That will be the first-and perhaps biggest-decision for the person who sits in the AD chair.

  20. We aren't going to get an Athletic Director until NEXT TUESDAY - 12/15/2009!

    We will be lucky to have a new Head Football Coach by Christmas. This search has become an absolute JOKE.

    How long is it going to take the new Athletic Director to find a Football coach? If he is hired next Tuesday, when we he be able to get to campus and start the search. Does he have to give his current employer notice or are they free to leave immediately? The unemployed one Moos could obviously start today.

    It is time for Smatresk to just hire a Football coach on his own. Just call Dirk Koetter and tell him that the job is his if he wants it. Koetter is our guy, make the move TODAY and get him out here. He needs to start recruiting!

    If not Koetter, hire Pat Hill or Dennis Franchione.

    We can't wait until Christmas to have a new head Football coach. You should have followed my timeline on hiring an Athletic Director and we wouldn't be in this mess right now!

    December 15, 2009 is way too late to hire an Athletic Director. We should have had a new Head coach in here by December 7th at the LATEST if he and his staff were going to have any chance of salvaging this recruiting class.

    Lets go Smastresk. If these guys want the job, they will fly out here TONIGHT. If not tell them they are off the LIST.

  21. @rebfan,

    That's the funniest thing I've heard in a long time. I guess the sun doesn't like straight shooters for removing my post, who cares? I guess I am not (PC= Political Cowardice) enough for them.

  22. yup your post got removed because you are saying completely irrelevant stuff and he has a better job than you and makes more money than you'll ever make!

  23. Best case scenario is Moos & Koetter.

  24. SufferinSuccotash - Yes UNLV needs to hire a football coach and the sooner, the better.

    Like a lot of the fans posting on these boards you're delusional if you think that Pat Hill is coming to UNLV. Hill, if he wants to leave Fresno, can do a LOT better.

    Koetter and Franchione were fired at their last college jobs but who says that they're even interested in coming to UNLV? That said, those type of guys are possibilities.

    Face it...UNLV on the glamor scale in college football 1-10 is a -3

  25. Logic
    You can keep Pat Hill please. We have no desire to have him. Besides with the oputlook of the MWC conference I would say UNLV is far more attractive than Fresno as far as potential goes.
    Pat Hill would not be a good hire.
    Fresno's Glamour scale -5 they may be a better program right now but you have to live in Fresno enough said.

  26. Koetter got fired for a reason. He was something like 2-29 versus top 25 teams. In the MWC that could translate to never getting any higher than 4th place. Maybe, you will be happy with that but, I'd like to set my sights a little higher.

    Hire Moos and have him get us a good coach.

  27. a 4th place every year @ this point seems like it would be a VERY successful season..I think maybe in 6-7 seasons we may break the top 3..but for now that may be a high hope

  28. rebfan,

    Did you by any chance catch the on field end of SDSU game interview with Sanford where he alluded to having two winning seasons. I about fell off the sofa.

    Don't listen to him those were not winning seasons. We can do better with the right coach. I've been around long enough and have actually seen UNLV win some football games.

  29. TUESDAY? Seriously???? Good gosh.....

  30. Rodgers probably told Smastrek not to do anything until Tuesday so that it will look like you had to actually think about it. It's a farce. The selection committee must feel stupid for actually recommending someone else.

  31. Sorry, I stand corrected. Ed Graney on the RJ said that the committee favored someone else not recommend.

  32. I had a vision, the AD will be Livengood. He will help turn around the UNLV football program, help make the basketball program a year in and year out top 20 program from here on out, and help raise 2 times more money than the last AD.

    His is not coming here to retire, he'll do that in around 8 years. He's coming here to challenge himself and take UNLV to the next level. Let it be written, let it be done!

  33. rebeldpt--"You can keep Pat Hill please. We have no desire to have him." We?? You got a rat in your pocket, rebldpt?

    They would kill here for what Pat Hill has done at Fresno. If you don't realise that, you're football IQ is around grade school level :)

  34. Reb4life - it was 2-19, not 2-29. More than half of those losses came against Top 10 opponents, not just top 25. USC, CAL and Oregon haven't lost to anyone very much the last decade.

    Franchione is 4-14 against top 25, so its not any more impressive. He also has a losing record in Bowl games and, in fact, was 0-3 in bowl games at his last stop.

    Koetter had a winning record against Arizona, in bowl games and an overall winning record. He has had 2 top 10 draft picks (Terrell Suggs and Levi Jones) and now he has NFL experience to sell to recruits.

    No one interested in UNLV is perfect. To steal from the hated Rick Pitino: "Urban Meyer, Pete Carroll and Nick Saban ain't walkin through that door."

    Instead of just criticizing Koetter, why don't you throw out a name you think we should hire?

  35. Logic
    Football IQ is just fine I certainly respect Hill just don't want him you can keep him. There is a reason he may be available apparently all FSU people arent satisified.
    As for "We" since I contribute more than I would guess you make in a year I think I can say we.

  36. Pick Bill Moos, please, Mr. Smatrisk. His kid plays football at Arizona State. Nice short drive. He's been playing rancher lately: http://blog.oregonlive.com/behindducksbe...

  37. No Moos or The Arizona guy
    Hire the man from Washington State.

    Jim Rogers of television 3 better not get his way on this hire

  38. man... all this infighting. the good guys don't play for a week and everyone turns against each other. Maybe we should stick to our opinions and comments about the rebels.. and not how bad each others posts are.. except my buddy 11.. yell at him all you want. :)