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Tracy Dill

BSU names athletic director finalist

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BEMIDJI – The university here is focusing on one man right now as it looks to fill its athletic director position.

Bemidji State University announced Thursday that Tracy Dill, a longtime associate athletic director at St. Cloud State University, has been named a finalist for the position.

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At this time, he is the only finalist.

“We’ve completed the interview process and at this time we felt it would be most effective and beneficial for us … to focus on one individual who we felt was very strong,” said Scott Faust, BSU’s director of communications and marketing.

Dill will be on campus today for an interview with a community reception to follow from 4:30-6 p.m. in the Sanford Center convention center lobby.

“We had a very strong pool and a good response to the opening,” Faust said. “We had a number of very strong candidates, but of course ultimately it comes down to one. We’re excited to have Tracy here (today) and we’re hoping to move forward from there with an announcement soon.”

The university has been searching for an athletic director since it announced in November that current athletic director Rick Goeb would be replaced at the end of the 2012-13 academic year.

School officials cited the need for increased scholarship funding and marketing efforts among the reasons to make the change.

In that case, Dill’s profile fits.

Dill has been an associate athletic director at St. Cloud State since 1999. He is responsible for sponsorships and marketing as well as television and radio, web-streaming rights and ticket sales.

Prior to that, he was an assistant athletic director at SCSU from 1995-99, the head men’s and women’s track coach from 1988-99 and an assistant football coach from 1985-95.

Faust said Dill’s coaching, marketing and administrative backgrounds make him a great candidate.

“He has experience and can identify with the challenges of our coaches, he has experience in athletic finance and administration, and he has experience in working on marketing and the community outreach that goes with that,” Faust said. “So he brings a real well-rounded and wide-ranging set of emphases and background. We think that all those things will be helpful if he becomes not just a finalist but director of athletics here.”

Sue Engel, sales and marketing director at First National Bank of Bemidji and a member of the search committee, said Dill’s experience in St. Cloud State’s similar athletic program made him an ideal candidate.

“One of the things we liked is that he is coming from a program where they have Division I hockey and other Division II sports,” Engel said. “So that was a large asset for him. And he’s also worked with a lot of arena sponsorships and that kind of thing.

“I just think he brings a lot of experience that will add to BSU.”

The committee settled on a pool of five candidates before announcing Dill as a finalist, according to Engel. The committee conducted in-person interviews with those five earlier this month in Minneapolis.

The 11-member Athletic Director Search Advisory Committee included BSU administrators, athletics department officials, student-athletes and community members.

Today’s reception will be relatively informal, according to Faust, with Dill making a few remarks before the community has an opportunity to ask questions.

“Certainly we want to give him a chance to meet some of our important athletic supporters and get them to meet him before it’s a done deal,” Faust said. “We want the community members to get to know him from this point and hopefully things will go on to the next step and we’ll be able to complete the process. At this point it’s also helpful to be able to get feedback from those folks too in terms in their response to him.”

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Jack Hittinger
Jack Hittinger is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer, focusing on Bemidji State but also covering area high schools. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at http://thebeaverblog.areavoices.com/ and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.
(218) 333-9772
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