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Published: Tuesday, 11/24/2009

Consultant with ties to UM aids AD search

BY RYAN AUTULLO
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

A former University of Michigan assistant football coach will manage the process for selecting UM's next athletic director, the university announced Monday.

Jed Hughes, a consultant for the New York search firm Spencer Stuart, will oversee the procedure to identify Bill Martin's replacement. Hughes served under Bo Schembechler at UM from 1973-75.

UM President Mary Sue Coleman also will be involved, overseeing a five-person advisory committee that includes Wolverine men's basketball coach John Beilein.

A posting on the university Web site said Coleman selected the advisers "based on their knowledge of particular aspects of the athletic director role, as well as her respect for their judgment."

Martin, who has been UM's athletic director since March, 2000, announced his retirement last month effective in September. Should the university appoint a new athletic director before then, Martin would serve as a special adviser to Coleman.

Other members of Coleman's advisory committee are Liz Barry, managing director of the Life Sciences Institute and former UM associate vice president; Percy Bates, faculty athletic representative and professor in the School of Education; Timothy P. Slottow, executive vice president and chief financial officer; and Teresa A. Sullivan, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

Hughes, who received his Ph.D in education from UM, has also coached under Chuck Noll (Pittsburgh Steelers), Bud Grant (Minnesota Vikings), John Ralston (Stanford), and Terry Donahue (UCLA).

UM football coach Rich Rodriguez would not say last month whether he wanted Coleman to seek his input on Martin's replacement but did say he hopes his next boss has the same passion for UM athletics as Martin does.

MESKO HONORED: UM senior captain Zoltan Mesko yesterday was named one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, which annually recognizes the nation's top punter. Mesko of Twinsburg, Ohio, ranks sixth nationally with 44.5 yards per punt. The other finalists are Georgia's Drew Butler and Florida's Chaz Henry. Butler leads the nation with 48.8 yards per punt. Henry averages 42.8 yards for the unbeaten Gators.

BIG TEN HONORS: Nine members of the Big Ten football champion Ohio State Buckeyes earned postseason conference honors, the league announced last night. The University of Michigan placed four individuals on the list.

For OSU, safety Kurt Coleman was named first team by both the league's coaches and the media, while guard Justin Boren received first-team honors from the media and second team from the coaches.

Four Buckeyes were named to the second team by both the coaches and the media: running back Brandon Saine, defensive linemen Thaddeus Gibson and Cameron Heyward, and linebacker Ross Homan.

Honorable mention accolades went to guard Bryant Browning (coaches and media), cornerback Chimdi Chekwa (coaches), and quarterback Terrelle Pryor (media).

Iowa led the league with seven first-team picks.

For UM, defensive end Brandon Graham and punter Mesko received first-team honors in both votes, and cornerback Donovan Warren was named first team by the media and second-team by the coaches.

Additionally, guard Steve Schilling was named honorable mention by both voting parties.

Both the coaches and the media voted Wisconsin's John Clay as offensive player of the year. The coaches appointed Penn State's Jared Odrick as defensive player of the year, while the media chose Michigan State's Greg Jones for the same award.

Iowa's Kirk Ferentz was named coach of the year by the media, who has the sole vote for that award.

Wisconsin's Chris Borland was voted freshman of the year in both votes.

Contact Ryan Autullo at:

rautullo@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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