The process for replacing Keith Kizer as executive director of the Nevada Athletic Commission is about to move into its second phase with the goal of having someone hired by April still a realistic possibility.
Kizer, who had been on the job since 2006, resigned Jan. 10 to return to the Nevada attorney general’s office.
Approximately 350 people have applied for the position. According to Bruce Breslow, the director of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, 32 of the 350 meet the basic requirements for the position based on their resumes. And of the 32, 16 meet all the criteria, which includes administrative experience in boxing and mixed martial arts as well as experience in working with a commission or public body.
Breslow told the commission he will contact the 32 candidates still under consideration early next week and ask them to complete a background check. Also, a questionnaire will be sent to each applicant to learn more about them individually. That process should take a couple of weeks.
Once that has been accomplished, three to five names ultimately will be submitted to the commission for formal interviews three to four weeks from now. At that point, those names will become public knowledge. Until then, the process will remain private.
“I’m very pleased with the response,” NAC chairman Francisco Aguilar said Friday after the commission’s meeting. “It’s a great number to have 16 qualified individuals to choose from, and I’m more convinced than ever we will find a great executive director.”
Commissioner Bill Brady said the vetting process will yield a strong replacement for Kizer.
“It’s been fair and open for all,” he said. “And I think we’re being very thorough with this. If you can’t take the scrutiny, then you probably shouldn’t be applying.”
Despite the large number of potential finalists to select from, Breslow urged the commission to keep the job posting open until the position is officially filled.
He said it would give the commission more flexibility if it is not satisfied with the finalists while not discouraging someone who may be imminently qualified for the position from applying.
Aguilar said he’s fine with that.
“I’m trying to keep within our time line, and I think we’re in good shape there,” he said. “But I’m not afraid to put a stop in the process if we have to.
“The most important thing is that we wind up with the best person possible to be the executive director, and we shouldn’t rush to get there.”
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.