The Eastern Washington athletic department will be in experienced hands while the school searches for a new director.
Lynn Hickey, who served for 18 years as athletic director at Texas San Antonio, will serve as interim AD for several months at EWU, president Mary Cullinan said Friday in a statement.
“I am very happy to bring a leader with Ms. Hickey’s experience to our university,” Cullinan said. “She will be key to maintaining momentum during this transition.”
Hickey will begin her duties at Eastern on Feb. 12 as the school begins a national search to replace Bill Chaves.
That search committee will be co-chaired by James Murphy, a member of the EWU Board of Trustees, and EWU Provost Scott Gordon.
Eastern hopes to name a permanent athletic director by mid-June to replace Chaves, who on Jan. 13 was named to the same position at the University of North Dakota.
Hickey didn’t rule out a candidacy for the permanent position, but stressed that her primary responsibility will be to “advise and help the coaches and the student-athletes and make sure their needs are being met.”
During Hickey’s tenure at UTSA, the school expanded its athletics program by adding football and women’s soccer and golf.
Citing personal reasons, Hickey resigned in September from UTSA.
The opportunity to work in Cheney was the result of some networking with Big Sky Conference Commissioner Andrea Williams, who played basketball for Hickey at Texas A&M.
“Andrea knew I was interested, and everything fell into place,” Hickey said Friday night from Texas.
Hickey began her coaching career in women’s basketball in 1979 as head coach at Kansas State. In 1984, she took over at Texas A&M, leading the Aggies to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
In 1994, Hickey finished her coaching career and was promoted to senior associate athletics director at Texas A&M, participating in event management, marketing and promotions.
Hickey joined UTSA’s young athletic program in 2000, becoming the only woman athletics director in Texas to oversee both men’s and women’s Division I sports.
Hickey will be assisted and advised by EWU Senior Associate Athletic Director Pam Parks, who is serving as a senior adviser for the athletics department during the transition.
In addition to Murphy and Gordon, the 13-member search committee includes:
Aaron Best, football coach; Wendy Schuller, women’s basketball coach; Alan Coelho, faculty, Physical Education, Health and Recreation; Esteban Rodriguez-Marek, Faculty, Engineering, and Chair, Faculty Organization; Laurie Morley, Faculty, Physical Education, Health and Recreation, and Faculty Athletic Representative; Jim Fitzgerald, Athletic Director for Student Success; Macey Weitz, chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council; Leah Nemeth, Student Representative, Board of Trustees; Doug Kelly, EWU Alumnus, Avista; Andrea Zaman, EWU alumna and former EWU student-athlete; Heather Wilson, EWU alumna and former EWU student-athlete; and Tommy Williams, EWU alumnus and former EWU student-athlete
According to the release, the committee will seek input and feedback from students, faculty, staff and community members.
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