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September 18, 2017

CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
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CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

Central Michigan University seeks director of ticket operations. primary responsibilities are to manage all facets of ticketing operations for the Athletics Department and to serve as the day to day liaison with combined university box office (Ticket Central). Apply here.

TARLETON STATE UNIVERSITY
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TARLETON STATE UNIVERSITY

The Tarleton men’s basketball team has added veteran coach Rodney “Mac” McConnell to its staff as an assistant coach. McConnell has plenty of experience with Tarleton as a player and coach. Mac, as players and coaches call him, played for the Texans from 1998-00 and then transitioned into coaching as a graduate assistant in 2001-02. He became a full-time assistant for Tarleton from 2004-05 when the Texans made their first trip to the Final Four. McConnell earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Kinesiology from Tarleton. McConnell is from Hattiesburg, Mississippi and now resides in Stephenville. Read More.

KEISER UNIVERSITY
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KEISER UNIVERSITY

Director of Athletics Kris Swogger announced Dante Calabria as the Interim Head Coach of the Keiser University men’s basketball team. Calabria will be entering his second year with the program and first as the interim coach. In 2016, Calabria helped the Seahawks to the Sun Conference Regular Season Championship and an appearance in the Elite Eight. Calabria earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from UNC. Read More.

PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
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PENN STATE UNIVERSITY

Penn State has announced the appointment of Kayla Matrunick as Assistant Athletic Director for Performance Nutrition Services. Matrunick is a Penn State graduate who was a member of the Nittany Lions’ women’s cross country and track and field teams from 2001-05. She is joining the Intercollegiate Athletics staff after serving as the Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Louisville for the past 2 ½ years. Prior to Louisville, Matrunick was at the University of Notre Dame for four years, serving as Director of Sports Nutrition her final two years. Read More.

HUNTINGTON UNIVERSITY
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HUNTINGTON UNIVERSITY

Huntington University head coach Ty Platt announced Thursday the hiring of Josh Riikonen as an assistant coach for the Forester men’s basketball program. Riikonen graduated from Taylor in 2014 with a degree in Social Studies Education. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Ball State University while teaching AP Psychology at Huntington North High School. He resides in Fort Wayne, Ind. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA

University of Northern Iowa men’s basketball coach Ben Jacobson has announced the promotion of Kyle Green to Associate Head Coach. Green will be entering his 13th year on the Panther basketball coaching staff. He serves as the program’s recruiting coordinator and works with the Panther post players . Green is in his third stint as an assistant coach for the UNI Panther men’s basketball team. Green served as an assistant from 2001-2003 and from 2006-2011. He re-joined the Panther staff prior to the 2012-2013 season. Green earned his master’s degree in athletic administration from St. Thomas University in 1999. Read More.

LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY
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LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY

Lake Superior State University seeks a Sports Information and Communications Specialist. Under the general supervision of the Director of Athletics, acts as liaison to and source of information for the interested public; to support the athletic programs by preparing and distributing all promotional materials pertinent to the men’s and women’s athletic programs to the various news media, national athletic affiliations and conference members; to maintain regular communication with the coaching staff to exchange ideas and facilitate the promotion of the respective programs. Apply here.

SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN JOSE STATE UNIVERSITY

The San José Sate men’s basketball team gains the experience of two NCAA postseason appearances as a player and coaching success at the high school, junior college and Division I levels with the addition of Will Kimble as an assistant coach. Spartans head coach Jean Prioleau made the announcement. Kimble earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising at Pepperdine in 2004. He went on to earn a master’s degree in education from UTEP in 2006. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

The phrase “This is… The Swamp” will be illuminated for all to see during night football games at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. The stadium’s wing wall signs, which are now illuminated, were remodeled in June. The new wall signs officially lit up for the first time Sept. 7. The University Athletic Association spent $79,000 on the new illuminated signs, said Senior Associate Athletics Director Steve McClain. “We thought the upgrade would be a nicer, cleaner look,” said Assistant Athletics Director Alicia Longworth. -Camille Respess, alligator.orgRead More

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH
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UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH

Peng Su’s first time tailgating at a Pitt game consisted of the usual tailgate staples — KanJam, food and cornhole. But he found his favorite part about the pre-game tradition was the view he and his fellow tailgaters had from their position on the Great Lawn, the grassy area near Heinz Field between Roberto Clemente Memorial Park and the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. “With the view, you can see Downtown, you can see the mountains, you can see the Point State Park fountain,” he said. Su — an industrial engineering graduate student — was one of 500 Pitt faculty, students and Panthers fans who gathered Saturday to utilize the services of Tailgate Guys at the Pitt-Oklahoma State game. Tailgate Guys, founded in 2009 by Auburn University alumni Michael Otwell and Parker Duffey, is a company that partners with universities to provide tailgating materials and services. And as of the 2017 Panther football season, it counts Pitt among its group of partners. –pittnews.comRead More

AUBURN UNIVERSITY
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AUBURN UNIVERSITY

Mickey Dean immediately discussed with his new team how they’ll go about building trust in each other. In his first meeting with players on Saturday, Auburn’s new softball coach laid the groundwork for building a culture for a program in the wake of the departures of Clint Myers amid allegations of abuse and harassment under his watch by his son and former associate head coach Corey Myers. “It starts with three things with our program; I can tell you that right up front: trust, love and commitment,” Dean said on Sunday. “I talked with the team (Saturday) about the trust part and I’m going to have trust them and they’re going to have to trust me. That’s where it’s got to start. – James Crepea, al.comRead More

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY
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WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

The Blue & Gold News sat down with WVU’s director of athletics Shane Lyons recently for an exclusive interview that spanned finances, facilities, major sports scheduling, the future of the Big 12 and more. This is the fourth and final part of that session, including the topics of adding a 10th assistant to the football coaching staff, increases in stipends for student-athletes and the biggest challenge for the athletics program over the coming year. Blue & Gold News — “With the football non-coaching staff, head coach Dana Holgorsen announced he was going to hire two analysts. That’s something he had not done before. The 10th assistant is on the horizon. Your thoughts on those?” -Matt Keller, theet.comRead More

September 17, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
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UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA

Earlier in the week it was reported that renovations to the Dean Dome have been put on hold. Thevenue has been a staple on the University of North Carolina’s campus since 1986, but rumors of upgrades, or even a relocation, have been floating around for some time. UNC had ample reason to make some changes, but that won’t be happening right now. The student section begins behind one of the hoops and continues up the section, as opposed to the now popular trend of having these sections surround the court. There are no premium seats or luxury boxes, just 21,750 seats. UNC has taken these issues very seriously and went as far as working with an architectural firm beginning in 2013. It was determined that these additions would require a brand new stadium or the university would have to spend a ton of time and money to revamp the Dean E Smith Center. – Christopher Ward, tarheelblog.comRead More

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY
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SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY

SAN DIEGO Mountain West Conference football is no substitute for the NFL. Not even close. But San Diego State’s athletic department is trying, bless their collective hearts. They sense an opportunity to grasp, a vacuum to fill, an available fan base to be wooed as the only big time football team left in town. They’d be guilty of athletic marketing malpractice if they didn’t at least try. It will help, of course, if the Aztecs continue to win. It will help more if they establish themselves as a program, and a market, that might entice a power conference looking to expand. Can you say Big XII? With that in mind, Saturday night’s home game against Stanford represented a huge opportunity. Even with consecutive 11-3 seasons and seven straight bowl appearances, winning in an Other Five conference such as the MWC doesn’t move the needle beyond the conference’s own outposts. – Jim Alexander, whittierdailynews.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS
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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

Well, this was a new look: The seats began trending toward empty at halftime and the home team was winning easily. Even the boosters of the victors couldn’t stay interested in watching Kansas football, which lost by double digits to a MAC school for the second week in a row Saturday, this time by a misleading 42-30 score to Ohio University at Peden Stadium. The tame crowd, numbering 22,056 and urged throughout the afternoon by the public address announcer to “get agitated,” had nothing to do with the Kansas road losing streak swelling to an unfathomable 42 games. Even careless turnovers from a Kansas offense that led the nation in them a year ago could not be blamed. The Jayhawks turned it over just once and edged OU in total yards, 451-450. Yet, more of the same in terms of genuinely making a game of it. A touchdown on the final play made the score more respectable than the mismatch felt. – Tom Keegan, m.kusports.comRead More

MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY
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MARYVILLE UNIVERSITY

The Maryville University Department of Athletics and Recreation announced that Jarrett Fleming has been promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Athletics and Recreation. After serving for two years as a graduate assistant at the University, he was named as a full-time member of the Saints administration in June 2015 as coordinator of athletics and campus recreation. Fleming oversees all aspects of game-day administration for the Saints 22 NCAA Division II teams as well as the University’s growing Club Sports and Recreation squads. He oversaw the launch of the club sports website, PlayMaryville.com, and manages the department’s work study students. Fleming has attended the NCAA Emerging Leaders seminar and received the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Award. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

While keeping an eye on weather in the Atlantic or the Gulf isn’t usually at the top of an athletic director’s priorities, that might be changing. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have disrupted college football schedules in the Southeast, and Florida and LSU are the two SEC teams whose schedules have been impacted. It’s the second season in a row both schools have been affected by a hurricane. Florida has lost a game; the same goes for Florida State, Miami, UCF and USF. LSU’s opener against BYU was moved from flood-ravaged Houston to New Orleans. Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity tells GN that while inclement weather is a reality, it’s impossible to make future decisions about the potential for such weather. McGarity has had to deal with weather impacting games since he was the senior executive associate athletic director at Florida in the 2000s. – Dan Mathews, gridironnow.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
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UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Kim Record’s name popped up on websites and in newspapers across Virginia this week. And no one was more surprised than, well, Kim Record. “It’s flattering,” Record said, “but there’s no story.” Speculative stories from the Charlottesville Daily Progress, Roanoke Times and The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot all listed Record among potential candidates to replace 66-year-old Craig Littlepage, who announced he will retire after 16 years as athletics director at the University of Virginia. Record is in her ninth year as UNC-Greensboro’s AD. She received a three-year contract extension seven months ago, and the new deal runs through June 2020. But she’s a Charlottesville native, a Virginia alumnus who started her career at her alma mater, and she has ACC experience after 13 years in Florida State’s athletics department. – Jeff Mills, greensboro.comRead More

HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY
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HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY

The Humboldt State University athletics department acknowledged in a document sent to the Times-Standard on Friday that the current model used to fund the department “must change” and, if a projected $900,000 deficit is not made whole, the university’s football program is the team most likely to be cut. The document, entitled “Humboldt State University: Intercollegiate Athletics — Budget Fact Sheet” states that due to declining student enrollment, ticket sales and other factors (i.e. camps, fundraising events), “expenses have risen largely due to salary and benefit increases that are mandated by labor contracts. The result is a growing structural deficit.” Furthermore, the fact sheet provides estimates of the cost of the university’s football program for the current school year. Specifically, the document states, “Current estimates suggest that the football program will cost the Athletics department a net of $1 million in 2017-18. That is based on an expense budget of around $1.4 million, offset by revenues generated of approximately $400,000. – Ryan Sparks, times-standard.comRead More

UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY
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UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY

In his five seasons as the head coach of the UAlbany women’s tennis program, Gordon Graham never really paid attention to whether the school’s athletic program was providing equal opportunities to female athletes. “I had no idea,” Graham said. “I knew things hadn’t changed for years, but I never really sat down and do the numbers and figured it out. I was busy coaching and trying to build a program and focused on that.” When the program Graham was building was dropped by the university at the end of the 2015-16 season, just weeks after winning its first America East title, he started paying attention. Graham researched the number of opportunities at UAlbany for athletes of each gender and then filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education alleging that male students at UAlbany had disproportionate opportunities to participate in sports compared to females. – Leif Skodnick, timesunion.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

The deadly storm has passed, and the floodwaters of a diluted conference schedule have receded with the announcement on Wednesday that UCF has worked with the AAC to move their Memphis matchup to September 30, nixing the University of Maine from the schedule. It was a historic movement for the American Athletic Conference in undertaking a massive schedule shift to accommodate four conference teams that would have been left a game short – UCF, Memphis, UCONN and USF. Hurricane relief was airdropped to the Knights in caseloads of cooperation. From inside the American alone, seven teams altered their schedules. Cincinnati, Houston, ECU, UCONN and USF were in the initial round of modifications, and the UCF-Memphis pairing was the latest addition. The University of Maine was a willing participant as well – though it didn’t sound like the university had much of a choice in their downgrade to a mid-season buyout. –  Tyler Graddy, knightnews.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA
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UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA

Just days after announcing an extension for football coach Mike Riley, Nebraska athletic director Shawn Eichorst voiced his frustrations after the Cornhuskers’ stunning 21-17 home loss to Northern Illinois on Saturday, saying it was “not acceptable.” “I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m disappointed,” Eichorst said. “At the end of the day, we have to stay together. It’s still early in the season, and we need to find ways to win games like this. I want to continue to show our support, but I also understand there is a lot of frustration out there when you don’t win games like today. It was Nebraska’s first home loss to a team not in a Power 5 conference or not a major independent since Southern Mississippi won in Lincoln in 2004. Nebraska, which was 3-0 against MAC teams prior to Saturday, was held scoreless in the first half at home for the first time since 2007. – espn.com Read More

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA
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UNIVERSITY OF IOWA

Instead of ending the season with the Cornhuskers, Barta’s proposal is that the Hawkeyes’ season will end with Wisconsin. “I’ll approach Barry [Alvarez, Wisconsin’s athletic director] and the Big Ten,” Barta said on the Hawkeyes’ pregame radio show. “I’m going to make the request at some point. That’s how we feel about it at Iowa.” Iowa and Nebraska have played on Black Friday since the Cornhuskers entered the Big Ten in the 2011 season. They are scheduled to do so until the 2019 season. The Big Ten recently released the conference schedules for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Iowa was shifted from playing Nebraska on Black Friday to playing Wisconsin on Saturday in those two seasons. Originally, playing on Black Friday was a Nebraska tradition. That tradition was brought to Iowa in the form of the Cornhuskers playing the Hawkeyes the day after Thanksgiving. – Chris Kwiecinski, landof10.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA
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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

The financial health of the University of Georgia Athletic Association is good – as usual. The association is actually a private nonprofit corporation with a corporate board. The UGA president controls a majority of the board appointments, along with other members such as a few members elected by UGA faculty. It also has plenty of money in the bank. As in most years, the association’s income was greater than expenses, UGA vice president for finance and administration told the athletic association board as it met on the UGA campus Friday. The association had $130.3 million in operating revenues in the 2017 fiscal year that ended June 30 – up from $121.4 million in 2016. The biggest chunks came from football tickets ($25.4 million), distributions from Southeastern Conference and NCAA television contracts ($38.2 million) and “contributions” season ticket buyers, mainly in football, pay in addition to the ticket face value. – Lee Shearer, onlineathens.com Read More

BIG TEN
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BIG TEN

On Sept. 14-15, the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln hosted a Big Ten Conference sports media and communication symposium. The idea behind the event was to promote the sports media major within the Big Ten. Professors Jerry Renaud and Rick Alloway were key players in conceptualizing the whole thing. “Jerry [Renaud] brought this up to me about a year ago,” Alloway said. “And the main goal was to begin a dialogue in creating sports centered media academics.”  Renaud and Alloway wanted the symposium to be about making the Big Ten better in the investment they make in sports media. They invited faculty from other schools to attend. Maryland, Michigan State and Indiana University-Indianapolis were a few of the many who were there. – Hannah Ericksen, dailynebraskan.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

He presented Terance Mathis into the Ring of Honor at last Saturday’s Lobos football game.  That was a day after he donned the cherry blazer at a press conference formally introducing him as the University of New Mexico’s new athletic director. But Eddie Nuñez won’t actually start his job in an official capacity until sometime next week — a job he says is a huge opportunity despite a summer of media reports uncovering questionable financial management and transparency concerns in the department. “Financial responsibility, integrity, transparency at every level of the department are not going to be (optional),” Nuñez said at his press conference. But UNM has decided not to make the search that ultimately ended with Nuñez landing the gig as open and transparent as some say state law requires them to do. – Geoff Grammer, abqjournal.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA
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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA

UCF athletics director Danny White reiterated Thursday his office is doing everything it can to replace Georgia Tech on the 2017 football schedule, noting there are “a lot of irons in the fire” as the Knights work to play 11 games despite the setbacks caused by Hurricane Irma. White also said the options are not limited to Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) opponents and if UCF can find a willing opponent from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), it will pursue that avenue. UCF lost two home games against Memphis and Georgia Tech due to the storm. With the game against the Tigers rescheduled for Sept. 30, displacing FCS opponent Maine from the original schedule, UCF still has just 10 games on the current slate, two shy of the NCAA regular-season limit. The difficulties are based on the numbers. – Chris Hays, orlandosentinel.comRead More

NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY
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NEW MEXICO STATE UNIVERSITY

The New Mexico State University football team has a new and improved locker room this season. Today a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovated Allen Family Locker Room officially opened the new facility. An area that was often bypassed on tours to prospective football student athletes and their families is now a highlight for the Aggie coaches and players with upgraded amenities. A substantial gift from Allen Theatres Inc. funded the locker room improvements and upgraded the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Coca-Cola Weight Training Center. The Allen family has operated movie houses in New Mexico for more than 100 years. Currently, they have 115 screens in 11 communities across the state and Colorado, with three Las Cruces locations – Cineport 10, Telshor 12 and Video 4. Earlier this year, company ownership passed to a fourth generation of Allen family members. Larry’s children Russell Allen, Heather Gandy, Asa Allen, and his nephew, Nathan Allen, took over as co-owners. – Tiffany Acosta, newscenter.nmsu.eduRead More

VIRGINIA TECH
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VIRGINIA TECH

On his way to Roanoke for a meeting recently, Steve Johnson decided to hop off Interstate 81 and swing by Blacksburg for a brief stop. He later admitted that he simply wanted a sneak peak at the football team meeting room renovations occurring within the Merryman Athletic Center. “I thought it looked awesome,” Johnson said. Johnson, a former Tech football player who played from 1983-87, stopped by Blacksburg again Friday to meet with the team, as department officials unveiled the renovated team meeting room to players, coaches and support staff members before they departed for Greenville, North Carolina for Saturday’s game against East Carolina. Johnson, who owns and runs a successful real estate development company in Bristol, Virginia, made a substantial gift commitment to cover construction costs toward McConnell Auditorium and ultimately position meeting room renovations. – Read More

UNIVERSITY OF MARY
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UNIVERSITY OF MARY

The University of Mary in Bismarck says it is pursuing a men’s hockey program, with the goal of starting competition next fall. The university has applied for Division 1 status and must now wait for approval from the American Collegiate Hockey Association. Athletic director Dale Lennon announced the program during a booster luncheon Friday. He says hockey will fit in perfectly with the campus and give student-athletes more opportunities to continue to play a sport they love and attend University of Mary. If all goes as planned, the university plans to get a team of 25 up and running next fall. – thenewstribune.comRead More