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Livengood looking ahead

Jim Livengood didn’t wait for anyone to ask.

Sensing the question mark hanging over his head — even Livengood’s wife, Linda, had wondered about his motive for seeking the UNLV athletic director job — he quickly addressed the topic everyone was curious about at Tuesday’s public forum in the student union theater.

Is his candidacy more about leaving Arizona — where his contract as AD expires June 30 and will not be renewed — or coming to UNLV?

"I said, ‘There’s no question about it: This is about trying to go to UNLV,’ " said Livengood, recounting his response to his wife’s query.

"I think an AD’s tenure is probably an eight- to 10-year run," he added. "So 16 years last week is a long run.

"I’m not interested in retiring. I’m interested in working. I am incredibly interested in trying to become new athletic director at University of Nevada, Las Vegas."

Livengood, 64, is the last of the three finalists to interview, following Washington State senior associate athletic director John Johnson on Friday and former Oregon and Montana athletic director Bill Moos on Monday.

UNLV president Neal Smatresk could announce a hire today.

The new AD’s first duty will be replacing fired football coach Mike Sanford.

It has been rumored that Livengood’s first choice for the job would be Arizona offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes.

Though he wouldn’t address specific coaching candidates, Livengood echoed the other two AD finalists in saying "this job might require head coaching experience."

Another major job requirement for an AD is fundraising ability. Livengood has kept Arizona’s athletic department in the black throughout his tenure, even though the school does not receive state funds.

He talked about the importance of getting out and meeting potential donors but said keeping the athletic department running smoothly is equally important.

Livengood said trying to raise money while overlooking internal concerns would be "a grave mistake."

When it comes to fundraising, though, Livengood said he would rely on help from two locals who applied for the AD job: UNLV interim athletic director Jerry Koloskie and South Point Arena general manager Steve Stallworth.

"In this job, anybody who didn’t use them would be making a major mistake," Livengood said. "The first thing that needs to be done is develop the relationships in terms of proving that I would be worthy of the job."

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

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