Three still in running for athletic director job

UNLV is down to three finalists to fill its athletic director vacancy, and all have Pacific-10 Conference ties.

Arizona athletic director Jim Livengood, Washington State senior associate AD John Johnson and former Oregon AD Bill Moos are the finalists, sources close to the search said Tuesday night. The sources spoke on the condition of confidentiality because of the secrecy regarding the search.

An official announcement is expected this morning.

Livengood is no surprise, emerging late last week as a top contender. He interviewed with UNLV on Friday night or Saturday morning. Livengood has been at Arizona for nearly 16 years, keeping the athletic department in the black despite not receiving state funds.

Johnson, also Weber State’s athletic director from 1997 to 2004, interviewed Monday. He increased the amount of corporate sponsorships money at Weber by about 70 percent.

Moos was Oregon’s athletic director from 1995 to 2007, where the athletic budget climbed from $18 million to $41 million. Moos, who lives on a ranch near Spokane, Wash., also was Montana’s AD for five years.

“In the two programs I left at Montana and Oregon, you need to get a feel as far as the territory and a certain feel there with the department,” Moos previously told the Review-Journal. “I’m not one to come in and start breaking up the furniture. They’ve got the talent to run the department. I would be eager to learn.”

Moos apparently was an early favorite for the job, and appeared to re-emerge Tuesday night. According to a source, Moos interviewed from New York, where he attended the College Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Livengood also was in attendance.

Those candidates being in means that two locals are out — interim athletic director Jerry Koloskie and South Point Arena general manager Steve Stallworth.

An attempt to reach Koloskie, also in New York for the ceremony, was unsuccessful. Stallworth said he appreciated the opportunity to interview to be athletic director at his alma mater, and called the process “fair throughout,” and was especially complimentary of UNLV president Neal Smatresk.

“I would really love to thank all the people who supported me,” Stallworth said. “I got a dozen phone calls and a dozen e-mails a day from people from all different walks of life. I’m going to support whoever they hire. I’ll support the president. I’ll support the university. I’ll be here long after the next AD leaves.”

Another candidate thought to be a favorite for the job, UCLA senior associate athletic director Ross Bjork, also is out. He declined comment.

The search committee met Tuesday afternoon, and chairman Gerry Bomotti said the next step is up to Smatresk.

“I think it was a good meeting, and certainly the committee feels we’ve got a real strong core group of candidates, and we’ll see what the president wants to do next,” Bomotti said.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@ or 702-387-2914.

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