To no one's surprise, interim athletic director Mike Karabin is among the four finalists to become the University of Toledo's new athletic director.
The 12-person AD search committee, by a vote of 11-1, reached its decision to forward the set of candidates to president Daniel Johnson after nearly 21/2 hours of deliberation last night at the Toledo Hilton.
The committee had interviewed the seven semifinalists for an hour each yesterday. Charles Sullivan cast the only no vote.
In addition to Karabin, the other finalists are Vic Cegles, senior associate athletic director at Arizona State; Greg Ianni, associate director of athletics for facilities and sport management at Michigan State; and Michael O'Brien, associate director of athletics for development at Kansas State.
Other candidates interviewed yesterday included Darlene Bailey, associate director of athletics at Southwest Missouri State; Bob Minnix, associate athletic director of compliance and legal affairs at Florida State; and Gary Barta, senior associate athletic director at Washington.
An eighth candidate, Robert DeCarolis, a senior associate athletic director at Oregon State, withdrew his name from consideration.
The AD position has been vacant at Toledo since June 30, when the contract of Pete Liske was not renewed. He earned $125,000 per year.
“The search committee interviewed seven outstanding individuals, all of which have extensive senior management experience in intercollegiate athletics at first-class institutions,” said Jim Klein, a UT law professor who is chairman of the search committee, which includes four other faculty and staff members, five community members and two UT students.
“After careful deliberation, the committee has narrowed the pool to four finalists.”
Karabin, a 22-year university employee, has been serving as UT's interim AD since June 19 while being paid $110,000. He had been the school's senior associate athletic director since 1997.
Karabin was the last candidate to meet with the search committee last night. His interview concluded at 7 p.m., then the search committee deliberated until 9:30.
“I'm honored to be one of the four finalists for the athletic director's job,” said Karabin, who also was a finalist for UT's AD position five years ago that went to Liske.
“We'll see where it goes from here.”
The four finalists are scheduled to be interviewed again the second week of November. Each candidate will spend a day on UT's campus, meeting with various groups and administrators, including Johnson.
“After those interviews are concluded and additional reference checks have been completed, Dr.Johnson will select the university's new athletic director and recommend that person to the Board of Trustees,” Klein said.
Cegles has been at Arizona State since 1986. He has been in his current position since last year. He also spent five years at Rutgers (1981-86), where he was assistant athletic director for development.
At Arizona State, he is leading a $35 million Capital Campaign. He has been instrumental in securing a $5 million naming rights gift for the basketball arena and he helped direct a $5 million venture to build a golf course.
He also is involved in media, advertising and marketing as well as stadium management and operations.
Ianni has been at Michigan State since 1993. He has been in his current position since 1996. Before that, he spent 14 years in the Mid-American Conference, holding various titles at Ohio, including associate director of athletics from 1989-1993.
“In 23 years in intercollegiate athletics, I have been very selective in pursuing options that open,” Ianni wrote in his cover letter to the UT search committee. “I do not apply for a job unless I view it as a positive move for me and my family.
“The University of Toledo has always been one of the finest programs in the MAC, achieving notoriety nationally in a number of sports. The university is a quality educational institution and the Toledo area provides resources, both in population base and financially, to build on what is already in place.
“In short, I am very intrigued by what Toledo offers.”
O'Brien has been in his current position at Kansas State since 1997. He also was the director of athletics at Lamar (1993-97), director of development for athletics at Pittsburgh (1990-93) and director of development and marketing at Ball State (1988-89). He also was an administrative assistant to the AD at Ball State (1986-88).