Former NAC executive director Kizer won’t be replaced on interim basis

The Nevada Athletic Commission will not replace former executive director Keith Kizer on an interim basis and instead will go directly toward pursuing a permanent successor.

Kizer, who resigned Jan. 10, had served in the position since 2006. The NAC staff will handle his duties until a replacement is hired, probably in early April.

Initially, chairman Francisco Aguilar thought that with several boxing and mixed martial arts events taking place in the next three months that an interim executive director was needed. But he wanted to canvass his fellow commissioners before proceeding in that direction during a meeting Friday.

Commissioner Skip Avansino seemed to agree with him, pointing out that this is a process that cannot be rushed.

“I had been through this process before while on another commission, and it takes quite a long time to hire an executive director,” Avansino said.

But their fellow commissioners preferred to go directly toward pursuing a permanent replacement.

“I don’t want to see us duplicate effort,” commissioner Pat Lundvall said. “I think it would be a waste of our resources.”

Commissioner Bill Brady added: “I think going with a temporary before a permanent hire might discourage some worthy applicants from applying. I believe we have a competent staff here that can handle things on fight day and at the weigh-ins.”

Aguilar eventually became convinced, saying, “I think we should put our energies into a permanent search, and I believe we can find the right person.”

The commissioners set a Feb. 7 deadline to apply for the job, which pays up to $97,901 plus benefits but includes forced furlough time. A committee comprised of members of the NAC and the office of Business and Industry, which oversees the NAC, will identify three to five candidates to interview, hoping to have the process completed by Feb. 18.

Those selected can expect rigorous due diligence from the commission, including a comprehensive background check from the FBI. That part of the process will be private. But once finalists have been selected for formal interviews with the five-member commission, they will be conducted in public.

The NAC has targeted the week of March 17 for those interviews. If no suitable candidate comes from those interviews, the process will be reopened.

Bruce Breslow, the Business and Industry department director, said the job has been posted on the state’s website (NV.gov.) and also has been posted on Careerbuilder.com.

Contact reporter Steve Carp at 702-387-2913 or scarp@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @stevecarprj.