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Hamrick secures ECU blessing to pursue UNLV post

[ Originally posted 07.29.03 ]

A staff report

Mike Hamrick may interview next week for the vacant athletic director’s position at Nevada-Las Vegas, according to a media source in the nation’s gambling capital. Hamrick has been AD at ECU for eight years and is reportedly one of three candidates still in contention to fill the spot created by the resignation of John Robinson this spring.

Robinson plans to remain football coach of the Rebels but relinquished his AD duties because of his wife’s health problems.

ECU chancellor William V. Muse confirmed that Hamrick has expressed to him an interest in the UNLV position.

“I just want what’s best for Mike,” Muse said. “If that job is something he’s interested in, we wouldn’t stand in his way. He’s done a good job here and deserves the opportunity to look at other jobs if they are of interest to him.”

UNLV had athletics revenues of $18.8 million in 2001-02 and $21.2 million in total expenses. ECU had revenues of $15.4 million for the same period and expenditures of $15.7 million, according to Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act reports. UNLV, which competes in the Mountain West Conference, averaged 27,582 fans in football in 2002, 78th among Division I-A programs. That was up from an average of 18,000 fans in 1998.

ECU was 67th in I-A football attendance last season at 29,629. That figure was down from 31,743 in 1998 and the all-time high of 42,036 in 1999 when a home game with N.C. State drove the figures.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal has reported that Hamrick was one of five finalists chosen by a 16-member search committee. The newspaper said two of the five, Saint Louis athletic director Doug Woolard and Toledo AD Mike O’Brien, have withdrawn from consideration.

Muse said he had been contacted by a consulting firm regarding Hamrick in relation to the UNLV post. The Review-Journal reported that a Kansas City law firm had been retained to screen candidates.

UNLV president Carol Harter has reportedly expressed a preference for someone who is currently an athletic director to fill the post and plans to have the job filled by the first football game on Aug. 29 against Toledo. Montana’s Wayne Hogan and Idaho’s Mike Bohn are also in contention, according to the Review-Journal.

Hamrick’s administration at ECU has been highlighted by securing membership in Conference USA and approximately $48 million in planned or implemented facilities improvements. That includes an $8 million baseball stadium, due to be constructed following the 2004 season.

Hamrick, 45, began his career in athletics administration working in promotions at UNLV in 1981-82. He came to ECU in April, 1995 after working as AD at Arkansas-Little Rock.

“Anything I might say at this time would be speculation,” Hamrick said in reference to the UNLV position on Monday, declining further comment.

Not including bonuses, Hamrick has an annual salary of $180,000 at ECU and is under contract through June 30, 2005.

Copyright 2003 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

02/23/2007 11:20:39 AM

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