BOISE – Former University of Idaho athletic director Rob Spear has landed a new job in east Idaho.
Spear was named the executive director of the Idaho Falls Auditorium District on Tuesday, according to a press release.
The auditorium district was created by Idaho Falls voters in 2011 with the goal of building a multipurpose event center. The groundbreaking on the $62 million facility is slated for August, with a projected opening in the winter of 2020-21. The capacity will be 4,000 to 6,000.
The State Board of Education fired Spear on Aug. 16, 2018, after a monthslong probe into Spear’s handling of a sexual-assault complaint against a football player in 2013. Reporting by the Idaho Statesman revealed that two female students had spoken to police about the same player previously.
The student senate requested that Spear resign his position, and several other former female student-athletes criticized Spear’s leadership. He was fired for convenience, so he is due a salary of $181,958 per year through Feb. 17, 2020. That amount will be offset by any income he receives from the auditorium district, according to his UI contract. The IFAD job pays $100,000 per year, according to the (Idaho Falls) Post Register.
Spear was the Idaho athletic director for nearly 15 years, including a short interim stint. He worked at Idaho from 1989 to 2018, and was heavily involved in the plan to bring an events center to the UI campus and other facilities improvements.
“I want to commend the IFAD Board for doing its due diligence and thoroughly understanding the facts surrounding my departure from the University of Idaho,” Spear said in the press release.
Spear was asked at Tuesday’s press conference about how his exit from Idaho might affect his public perception.
“What I can do is control what I do every single day from here on out,” he said, according to the Post Register. “And what I’m going to do is bring great energy, great passion, great work ethic and devote myself to this community and this project to make sure it becomes a reality.”
Terri Gazdik, the chair of the Idaho Falls Auditorium District board, told the Post Register the vote to hire Spear was unanimous.
“We felt like what had happened previously was irrelevant to this position and what we were trying to accomplish,” Gazdik told the newspaper.
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