UNK Athletic Director Position Narrowed Down to Four Finalists - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

UNK Athletic Director Position Narrowed Down to Four Finalists

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Four candidates will be advancing as finalists for the position of athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen announced Tuesday that the finalists are Jean Berger, Mary Ellen Gillespie, Rick Goeb and Paul Plinske.

Alden and Associates, an executive search firm, has been assisting in the search since May, when Jon McBride announced that he would be resigning from the position.

"We are very pleased at the quality of applicants for our position," said Kristensen. "The committee has worked diligently to assist me in identifying a particularly strong group of experienced and highly successful finalists with unique strengths that give us a number of pleasing options moving forward."

Berger has served as senior associate athletic director/senior woman administrator at the University of Northern Iowa (Division I) since 2008. Additionally, she has 28 years of successful collegiate athletics administration experience, including at Wayne State College in Nebraska.

Gillespie is associate athletics director for external relations at Bowling Green State University (Division I) where she has also been heavily involved in development/major gifts since 2006. She has extensive experience in development, advancement and student life at Purdue University, the North American Interfraternity Conference, and University of Iowa.

Goeb served as director of athletics at Bemidji State University (Division II) from 2001-2013. He has prior experience as senior associate athletic director at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and was head wrestling coach at St. Cloud State.

Plinske has been director of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (Division III) since 2004. He was previously associate director of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and involved in athletics administration at the University of Illinois and University of Minnesota while pursuing masters and doctoral degrees, respectively.

According to Kristensen, campus visits will be scheduled immediately. He says the goal is to have a new athletics director before fall sports begin.

"Even though we have set an aggressive timeline, I'm equally pleased with the quality of our finalists and our process," Kristensen said.


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