Washington interim athletic director Scott Woodward won't pursue the job
The search for a new athletic director at the University of Washington can begin in earnest. Scott Woodward, who has been the acting AD...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The search for a new athletic director at the University of Washington can begin in earnest.
Scott Woodward, who has been the acting AD since Jan. 31 and was considered the leading candidate to take over permanently, announced Thursday he will not pursue the position.
Woodward is also UW's vice president of external affairs and said he decided to stay in his current job only after "numerous, long conversations" with university president Mark Emmert.
Woodward, who had said previously that he was "leaning toward" becoming a candidate for the job, said he had mixed emotions about the decision. Ultimately, he said Emmert "convinced me that he thought I'm needed in external affairs because we have a big year, fiscally, coming ahead" as well as a lot going on in marketing.
Woodward worked in a similar role under Emmert at LSU before the two came to UW in 2004.
Woodward said he will remain intimately involved in the effort to secure state funding for a renovation of Husky Stadium. The school plans to mount another full-court press in the 2009 legislative session for $150 million in public money to go along with another $150 million or so that the school would raise to fund the project.
The school seeks to use the same King County hotel-motel, restaurant and rental-car taxes that are already helping fund Safeco Field and Qwest Field.
"We have a good case to be made for that," Woodward said, adding that having more time to put a plan together to sell the package will hopefully mean a better result than this year, when the issue was not seriously considered.
Woodward said the school plans to sell the Legislature on "just how important we are to the tourism economy in King County."
He added, "We just didn't do a good job of that in the last session because of the time. We needed to move in a hurry. Now we have time to do it and do it strategically and very thoroughly."
Woodward, 45, said he has enjoyed his time as the acting AD, though he said he was concerned about what he termed "some complacency issues and some acceptance of mediocrity."
"People were assuming that doing the right thing and winning were mutually exclusive, and they're not," he said.
He said complying with NCAA rules and doing things in the best interests of the student-athlete should be givens and not considered separate from winning.
"Winning is a very important core value of what we do," he said.
Ousted UW athletic director Todd Turner had said he thought there was too much of a focus on winning.
The school has established a 14-member search committee to select candidates and has also hired an Atlanta search firm, Parker Executive Search, to aid in the process. Parker has a going rate of $75,000 for its services.
Possible candidates include former Huskies kicker Chuck Nelson, who is the executive director of the Boeing Classic golf tournament; Bob Stull, a former UW assistant football coach and assistant AD who is now the AD at UTEP; and Chris Hill, the AD at Utah who was a finalist in 2004 when Turner was hired (after use of Parker Executive Search).
Another candidate could be Rob Mullens, the deputy director of athletics at Kentucky, who was among four finalists at LSU last month, a search also aided by the Parker group.
There is no timetable to hire a new AD, but Emmert has said previously he would like one in place by the end of the school year.
Washington also is without two assistant athletic directors with the recent departures of Scott Barnes, who left to become the AD at Utah State, and Jeff Compher, who became the AD at Northern Illinois.
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 10:18 PM
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