One day after it was learned that Washington State’s Pat Chun had interviewed for Northwestern’s vacant athletic director position, it appears the Wildcats are planning to go in a different direction.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury-News reported Monday morning Chun is not expected to be a candidate for the Northwestern job. Less than 24 hours earlier, a separate report from Wilner linked Chun to the vacancy in Evanston, Illinois, and indicated he was one of two sitting athletic directors in the Pac-12 to interview for the position, along with Cal’s Jim Knowlton.
Other candidates for the Northwestern job include UNLV’s Desiree Reed-Francis, SMU’s Rick Hart and Rice’s Joe Karlgaard, ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported Sunday.
It marked the second time in three weeks Chun’s name was linked to a Power Five athletic director job after his name surfaced as a potential candidate for the open position at Kansas. Contrary to one report, a source confirmed to The Spokesman-Review Chun never interviewed for the Kansas position.
Some believed Northwestern’s AD job would be a more viable option for Chun, who spent 15 years working in the Big Ten Conference, at Ohio State, after graduating from the school in Columbus. As of 2017-18, previous Northwestern AD Jim Phillips was the second highest-paid AD in the country, earning an annual salary of $1.75 million. It’s unclear if Northwestern would’ve been able to match that salary for their new AD, but Chun, who currently makes $650,000 annually at WSU, would’ve been in line for a substantial raise nonetheless.
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