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John Johnson tapped to lead Washington State while school finds AD replacement for Bill Moos

John Johnson will lead WSU athletics on an interim basis.

PULLMAN – John Johnson will lead Washington State Athletics until the university finds a full-time replacement for Bill Moos, who left Sunday afternoon to become the athletic director at the University of Nebraska.

Johnson, who currently serves as WSU’s senior associate director of athletics, was named by school president Kirk Schulz Monday afternoon as the school’s interim AD. He’ll take over those duties on Wednesday, but won’t be a candidate for the permanent position.

“I couldn’t ask for a better-qualified individual to make sure that Cougar athletics continues to excel as we search for WSU’s next athletic director,” Schulz said.

Johnson has previously been the athletic director at two Big Sky Conference schools: Eastern Washington from 1993-97 and Weber State from 1997-2004. Johnson was raised in Spokane and attended EWU.

Schulz labeled Johnson as “an outstanding administrator” and “a fierce advocate” for WSU Athletics.

Monday afternoon, Schulz also finalized a seven-person search committee that will work to identify the school’s permanent AD. Schulz will act as the chair of that committee.

The group also includes former WSU quarterback Jack Thompson, current Cougars women’s basketball coach June Daugherty, 1971 alumnus Gary Schneidmiller, chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee/track and field athlete Abu Kamara, faculty athletics representative/associate dean and director of the WSU School of Hospitality Management/associate professor with the Carson College of Business Nancy Swanger and Greg Rankin, a 1994 alumnus and CEO/President of Xtreme Consulting Group, Inc.

WSU football coach Mike Leach isn’t part of the committee, but said Monday he intends to meet with Schulz and hopes the president will hear his input with regard to selecting the next AD.

On Twitter, Schulz affirmed he and Leach would be meeting on Tuesday.

The president also wrote that he’d consult “head coaches, Coug athletic staff, & the Coug Nation on necessary attributes for our next great AD.”

Schulz and Johnson plan to meet with media members at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Cougar Football Complex to discuss the future of WSU athletics.