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Penn State Forms Search Committee For Next Athletic Director

Penn State president-elect Dr. Neeli Bendapudi has formed a committee to help lead a nationwide search for the university’s next athletic director, per a media release published Thursday morning.

In March, the university announced that Bendapudi would lead the search as one of the first steps of integration into her new Penn State leadership role. Now, she’s assembled a group to help lead that effort and advocate for the interests of key stakeholder groups.

The listed search committee members include:

  • Guy Gadowsky, men’s hockey head coach
  • Tamla Lewis, interim athletics integrity officer
  • Dennis Scanlon, professor of health policy and administration, NCAA faculty athletics representative, and director of the Center for Health Care and Policy Research
  • Ally Schlegel, current women’s soccer forward and chair of the Student-Athlete Advisory Board
  • Michael Wade Smith, Bendapudi’s senior vice president and chief of staff

“We are seeking a leader who will continue to prioritize our student-athletes, coaches and staff and build upon Penn State’s tradition of academic and athletic excellence,” Bendapudi said in a release. “I am very appreciative of those who are serving on this committee, as this is an important role that will add to our exceptional leadership at Penn State and will shape and elevate our athletics program for years to come.” 

In a statement, Bendapudi outlined the university’s expectations for its next athletic director, including enhancing the academic experience of student-athletes, bringing a demonstrated record of overseeing athletic success, and possessing the skills to navigate and leverage the NCAA’s new name, image, and likeness (NIL) regulations.

Penn State’s upcoming athletic director vacancy comes as Sandy Barbour announced her impending retirement, which will begin this summer. Barbour has served as Penn State’s athletic director since 2014 and will continue fulfilling the position’s duties until she is replaced.

According to the university’s release last month, Penn State is expecting to select an athletic director candidate by July 1.

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About the Author

Sam Fremin

Sam is a senior from Ashburn, Virginia, majoring in journalism and political science & minoring in German and creative writing. He is a Dallas Cowboys fan who relishes the misery of Eagles fans. All hate messages can be sent to [email protected] or @SamFremin on Twitter.

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