UND ATHLETICS: Co-acting ADs will not apply
With Wednesday's announcement that Tom Buning has resigned as UND athletic director, a search will immediately begin for a replacement. But the field of applicants won't include the current co-acting athletic directors. Steve Brekke and Betty Ral...
With Wednesday's announcement that Tom Buning has resigned as UND athletic director, a search will immediately begin for a replacement.
But the field of applicants won't include the current co-acting athletic directors.
Steve Brekke and Betty Ralston said Wednesday that they don't plan to apply for the UND athletic director position.
"I will not be applying for that," said Ralston, UND associate athletic director. "Hopefully it will be an attractive position to someone, . . . coming in and establishing a Division I program. Someone who will make their mark . . . and really wants to lead us through these next four years."
"I think I can serve the athletic department best in my current role," said Brekke, UND director of athletic development.
Stanford University assistant athletic director Ray Purpur, who would be a top candidate if he applied, was unaware of Buning's resignation as of Wednesday afternoon.
"I haven't given it any thought," said Purpur, a Grand Forks native. "That's the first I've heard of it."
Among others being mentioned as possible candidates include former Sioux men's hockey coach Dean Blais and former UND assistant athletic director Rick Hedberg.
"I guess I haven't really thought that much about it," said Hedberg, who is the athletic director at Minot State. "You always look at your options. I am pretty happy right now, but I enjoyed my time at UND. It's a special place."
The Herald couldn't reach Blais for comment.
When Buning was hired in July 2005, among finalists were Rob Bollinger and Al Molde.
Bollinger, who is executive director for university advancement at Bemidji State, declined comment on whether he would be interested in the UND job. Prior to his time at Bemidji State, Bollinger was the development officer for UND athletics.
Bollinger also was a longtime assistant football coach for the Sioux.
Molde, who is the athletic director at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minn., was unaware of the news regarding Buning on Wednesday afternoon. He declined comment.
Molde also was a finalist for the UND athletic director job in 1999. That time, UND hired former football coach Roger Thomas, who later left the position to become commissioner of the North Central Conference.
Molde also was a finalist for the North Dakota State athletic director position in 2001. That job went to Gene Taylor.
In 2005, the four candidates who interviewed on campus were Molde, Bollinger, Buning and Lynn athletic director John McCarthy.
In 1999, the five finalists were Thomas, Purpur, former Sioux swim coach Mike Stromberg, New Mexico State assistant athletic director Thomas Kellner and Wisconsin-Green Bay associate chancellor Dan Spielmann.
Reach Miller at 780-1121, (800) 477-6572 ext. 121 or firstname.lastname@example.org .