Eastern Washington interim AD Lynn Hickey praises department, keeps mum on future status

Eastern Washington interim athletic director Lynn Hickey (Contributed)

After six weeks on the job, Eastern Washington interim athletic director Lynn Hickey said she’s “very impressed” with the quality of people in her department.

Asked this week whether she wants to lead that department on a permanent basis, Hickey couldn’t say.

“Everything is very confidential,” said Hickey, who said she didn’t want to jeopardize the selection process.

Applications closed on Monday for the full-time position that became open in January when Bill Chaves resigned after 11 years to lead the athletic department at North Dakota.

Since then, EWU provost Scott Gordon and Board of Regents member Judge James Murphy have led a 15-member committee through the selection process.

Earlier this week, Gordon decline to comment on the process, including the number of applicants and their backgrounds.

With all applications received, the panel is working to narrow the field to a yet-undetermined number of finalists.

Once finalists are announced – that date, too, is uncertain – they will visit campus and will meet school officials and the public.

Meanwhile, Hickey said she’s impressed with Eastern’s results on and off the field.

Working with the second-smallest budget in the Big Sky Conference, the Eagles have won five league football titles in the last eight seasons. Men’s basketball has reached the postseason the last four years, including an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2015.

Academically, nine of the 12 programs finished in the top half of the Big Sky.

“What they’ve accomplished so far is commendable,” said Hickey, who for 18 years led the athletic department at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

“They’ve done a lot without a lot of resources,” Hickey said. “The potential here is very great.”