Three months after saying he would not apply for the University of Toledo's athletic director job on a full-time basis following an arrest for driving under the influence, interim AD Mike Karabin has had a change of heart.
Karabin said yesterday that he will apply for the permanent position between now and Friday, the date by which applicants are being urged to apply in order to receive full consideration for the job.
As of late yesterday afternoon, 23 applications had been submitted for the AD job, said Jim Klein, a UT law professor and chairman of the 12-member search committee.
Karabin is not yet among the official applicants, nor is Toledo mayor Carty Finkbeiner, who said in a statement: “At this point I have not applied for any position anywhere.” Several UT sources said he has been making contacts concerning the position for several weeks. His term as mayor expires Dec. 31.
Finkbeiner served as an assistant football coach at UT under Frank Lauterbur from 1963-66.
“I would be honored to be considered for the athletic director's job on a permanent basis,” said Karabin, a 22-year university employee who was named interim AD on June 19. He is being paid a salary of $110,00 to run the department until a permanent replacement is found for Pete Liske, whose $125,000 contract was not renewed when it expired June 30. Since 1997 Karabin had been senior associate AD.
Karabin, 44, said many UT boosters, administrators and friends have encouraged him to apply for the job on a full-time basis.
“I guess I was somewhat floored by the amount of support and understanding that people have given me after my incident,” he said. “I never would have imagined the reaction I have gotten from people I have known a long time - and people I haven't known - as far as understanding what I've gone through with the DUI thing.
“When that happened to me three months ago, I was devastated. For my career, that was one of my worst nightmares. I don't even like talking about it now. But looking back on it, I'm healed up over it, trust me on that. I feel I am better for it and what happened, but I will always have a scar over that incident.
“But that hasn't hindered me in the last three months in my job performance. I didn't let it get in the way with what I was doing with this job.”
Karabin, a finalist for the AD job that went to Liske five years ago, faces a pre-trial hearing tomorrow as a result of his DUI arrest on July 13.
Klein was asked if he thought the incident might hurt Karabin's chances of securing the AD's job on a permanent basis, although Karabin has been nominated for the position by a UT booster.
“It is my understanding that Mike's case is still pending in Sylvania Municipal Court,” Klein said. “It would be inappropriate to comment on the matter until it is completely resolved by the court. Mike has been doing a very good job as interim AD. And people on campus and in the community recognize this.”
“Internal candidates who submit their name and credentials for the position will receive the same consideration from the committee as external candidates,” UT president Daniel Johnson said. “If the search committee decides to move such candidates forward, I will give them the same consideration as external finalists.”
The applicants for the job include Michael O'Brien, associate AD for development at Kansas State; Larry Petroff, assistant head football coach and recruiting coordinator at Southern Cal; Victor Cegles, senior associate AD for external affairs at Arizona State; Robert Chichester, senior associate AD at Colorado; Thomas Perry, senior associate AD at South Carolina; Greg Ianni, associate AD at Michigan State, and Tim Wabler, senior associate AD at Dayton.
Among other applicants were an administrative assistant/fitness instructor at a health club, a General Motors employee, a director of business and legal affairs for a management firm, and a high school junior varsity softball coach and teacher.
Klein, who also serves as the school's NCAA faculty representative, said the search committee has met a few times. A consulting firm - Carr Sports Associates, Inc., of Gainesville, Fla. - also was hired to help with UT's nationwide search.
Klein said Bill Carr, the former athletic director at Florida and Houston, and Gene Corrigan, the former NCAA president, Notre Dame AD and Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner, spent three days at UT last month.
“They interviewed virtually anybody that has anything to do with athletics on this campus, and also the administrators,” Klein said. “Their goal is to get a real good feel for the department and the university and do an assessment of the athletic department. They are going to report on that to the president.
“They also will use the data they collected to help develop a profile or position description for what kind of person will be needed to be the athletic director based on the needs and issues we have.”
Klein said the search committee, which comprises four other faculty and staff members, five community members and two UT students, will meet next week to review the resumes and applicants for the job.
“We'll probably interview six to eight of those people and then we'll narrow that list down to three or four and give that list to the president in November,” Klein said. “The plan is to have the four candidates on campus the week of Nov. 12, or in that area.
“The search consultants will be retained all the way until an offer is made to the candidate we want and he or she is hired. We're looking at hopefully early to mid-December where a person will have an offer and accept it.”