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Who might take Hamrick’s place?

Beyond the Sun

Even before the official announcement that Mike Hamrick was resigning as UNLV athletic director to take the same job at Marshall University, speculation had begun about who would replace him.

According to sources, there will not be a national search to identify Hamrick’s replacement because A) it costs too much and B) there is no shortage of persons qualified to run the program who already live here.

Any list of would-be replacements for Hamrick would almost certainly include Dwaine Knight, the UNLV golf coach and fundraiser extraordinaire; Thomas & Mack Center and Sam Boyd Stadium Director Daren Libonati; longtime local arena operator and UNLV alumnus Steve Stallworth; and Las Vegas 51s President Don Logan.

Each, based on his credentials and experience, would make an excellent athletic director. But the name that keeps popping up first is that of Tina Kunzer-Murphy, a Las Vegas native, former UNLV athlete and coach and current director of the wildly successful Las Vegas Bowl college football game.

In addition to her deep ties to the university and Las Vegas community, Kunzer-Murphy recently landed a multiyear sponsorship deal with MAACO body shops to become title sponsor of the Las Vegas Bowl, which under her leadership has attracted sellout crowds in each of the past four seasons. Industry sources said the MAACO deal was a major coup, considering how stingy sponsorship dollars have become during tough economic times.

“I already have a wonderful job,” Kunzer-Murphy said. “But if it happens that the university decides it would want to talk to me about the athletic director’s job, I would be flattered.

“It has always been my dream job.”

UNLV has announced that Jerry Koloskie, the longtime associate athletic director, would serve as interim athletic director until a replacement for Hamrick is found.

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  1. Stallworth and Kunzer-Murphy would both be good choices. However, the best choice is probably Jerry Koloskie. He's been the number 2 man there for both John Robinson and Hammrick. He's highly respected, knows everything about the job, and both Robinson and Hammrick speak highly of him. The worst idea is the arena supervisor, Libonati. He's spent the past few years trying to undercut Hammrick and has lost the respect of everyone in the Athletic Department. His name shouldn't even be mentioned with the others.

  2. Three words:

    Mr. Cliff Findlay

    Now I doubt Mr. Findlay would what to work for someone else, but this is the guy for the job.

    1. He knows more about this town and its people than anyone.
    2. He has donated more money to the school other than Wynn or Greenspun (he should be school president).
    3. He's an alumni and former basketball star.
    4. He got Kruger here, not Hamrick.
    5. Look what he did for Findlay Prep.
    6. He is a successful businessman and the athletic department needs to be run like one.