UNLV athletics:

Interim AD announcement coming soon; full-time likely in the fall

UNLV President Neal Smatresk said he’s close to naming an interim athletic director to fill in after Jim Livengood retires June 30


Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

UNLV President Neal Smatresk speaks during the announcement of the creation of The Jerry Tarkanian Legacy Project, which includes a statue of Tarkanian and his ubiquitous towel, Wednesday, May 1, 2013.

The Rebels could announce their interim athletic director as soon as next week, UNLV President Neal Smatresk said Wednesday. Meanwhile, the full-time replacement is looking like a decision for the fall.

Smatresk said he’s been talking with people both inside and outside of the university while looking for a temporary fill-in. He has some names of people already in the community, but they may not work within the athletic department, Smatresk said.

“There are three of four people I’m looking at hard right now,” he said.

Since the interim’s time would mostly be during the summer, when there’s far less going on in athletics, the main task will be to keep operations running as smoothly as possible, Smatresk said. And while that person could potentially make some great decisions to make Smatresk reconsider his position, the president isn’t planning to consider the interim for the full-time position.

“I’ll never say never,” Smatresk said, “but my intention is for the interim to be the interim.”

Smatresk is still working through budget issues, forcing the formation of a search committee to next week, he said. UNLV will not use an outside search firm for the athletic director hiring. The decision on these hires mostly falls on Smatresk, with the Board of Regents required to approve all contracts.

After originally hoping to have someone ready to go by the time Athletic Director Jim Livengood steps down on June 30, Smatresk said, he realizes that’s not realistic.

“It probably won’t go quite as fast as I would like,” he said.

The ad for the position likely won’t go live until June, with interviews starting in late July or early August. Based on what he’s heard, Smatresk said, “it would be wickedly optimistic to get somebody by September.”

As for the man that new person will replace, Smatresk said, he and Livengood would both go to the Mountain West meetings at the end of this month. The long-term plan is for Livengood to work in a consulting capacity until the end of the year.

“Basically we’ve agreed that Jim will continue to work with me on a specific assignment with conference issues,” Smatresk said.

Taylor Bern can be reached at 948-7844 or [email protected]. Follow Taylor on Twitter at twitter.com/taylorbern.

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  1. I hope they can get an alum like Steve Stallworth to be the athletic director.

  2. Get Tina Kunzer Murphy to be the new AD

  3. ..Majestic gaming gone, Coach Hut gone... now our AD. Are the wheels falling off?

  4. No way to Tina! No way to old school UNLV people who have used the role as their own personal favor machine.

    Coach Hut? How about a veteran Coach who could teach half court offense and defense to help Rice? That was not on his staff last year and no matter having a lottery pick - Coach Hut did not come up with solutions that got this UNLV team a Conference Title on their home floor or an NCAA Tourney win.

    At least the President is smart enough to save the money that a search firm would charge and to play this out. Go grab the #2 AD at Florida, Georgia or Oklahoma - Football would finally get straightened out and decisions would be made on what is best for Alums, Fans and the Program. Not certain Boosters. We need a Football guy now once and for all.

  5. How about Randall Cunningham Sr. He would be a great fit and just what UNLV needs!!! Plus he already lives in Las Vegas therefore, UNLV doesn't have to go very far.

  6. Worst kept secret in NV

  7. Steve Stallworth is still my choice for the position