USF officials met with two of the top candidates for the university’s vacant athletic director position last week during the Final Four, a report in Wednesday’s The Tampa Tribune stated.
Tom McElroy, associate athletic director for men’s and women’s basketball national champion Connecticut, and Orange Bowl CEO Keith Tribble met with search committee member Michael Rierson and search consultant Chuck Neinas in San Antonio, the report stated, though none of the four would confirm that the meeting took place.
“Other than (Final Four participants) Oklahoma State, UConn, Duke and Georgia Tech, USF had to be the most talked-about university in San Antonio,” Rierson told The Tribune. “There was a lot of buzz. I thought there would be a lot of interest in (the AD position), but I was amazed at the extraordinary interest in it on a national level.”
McElroy spent 20 years as a Big East Conference official before joining UConn in 2001.
Tribble has spent 11 years with the Orange Bowl, including the last four as CEO. Under the watch of Tribble, whom Sports Illustrated named the 12th most powerful person in college football last year, the Orange Bowl crowned the 2000 national champion when Oklahoma beat FSU for the title and will host its second BCS national championship game this year. Tribble also served as associate AD at Florida State and senior associate AD at UNLV.
Neither McElroy nor Tribble has formally applied for the position yet. With four new applications being submitted Friday, the number of applicants sits at 10. At the search committee’s first meeting on March 31, chairman Hinks Shimberg said the committee hopes to begin interviewing top candidates by mid-May, with a new AD being hired by mid-summer.
The four new applicants are: Tom Perry, senior associate AD at South Carolina; Manhattan AD Robert Byrnes; Texas Rangers vice president for sponsorships Bradley Alberts; and M. Lynne Mullen, president of The Focus Group.
Other applicants include: Dan Radakovich, senior associate athletic director for college football national champion LSU; Michigan State associate AD Mark Hollis; Troy State AD Johnny Williams; former Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden; Brad Smith, a Johns Hopkins cardiology administrator; and Milton Richard, athletic director at Division II Cal-State Stanislaus.