Cullinan names interim AD, national search committee

Courtesy of Lynn Hickey

Courtesy of Lynn Hickey

By Michael Brock, Sports Editor

On. Jan. 26, EWU President Mary Cullinan named Lynn Hickey as the school’s interim athletic director. Hickey spent 18 years as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at the University of Texas, San Antonio before stepping down in 2017 for personal reasons.

“I am very happy to bring a leader with Ms. Hickey’s experience to our university,” Cullinan said. “She will be key to maintaining momentum during this transition.”

A national search has also been initiated, to find a permanent replacement for former athletic director Bill Chaves, who resigned on Jan. 13 to take a similar position at the University of North Dakota.

EWU Board of Trustees member Judge James Murphy and Provost Scott Gordon were named co-chairs of the search committee, who are expected to name a replacement by the end of the academic year.

Hickey, who begins at EWU on Monday, Feb. 12, hasn’t ruled out applying for the permanent position, but said her primary role will be to help facilitate the transition.

“What has been accomplished there the last 10 years is pretty outstanding,” Hickey recently told The Easterner. “So I’m just going to come in and listen and observe. And that will take some time. I really want to be engaged, I want to be of help, I want to be very hands-on and get right in the middle of the activities and to be of assistance to the staff.”

Several public forums with applicants are schedule for later in February, including one after the EWU men’s basketball game on Feb. 15, per the Spokesman-Review. The 15-member search committee will hold initial meetings the following week, with applications accepted until April 2.

By April 9, the committee hopes to have the list narrowed to three or four finalists, who will partake in more campus visits and public forums. After that, Cullinan could name Chaves’ success as early as late April.

EWU Senior Associate Athletic Director Pam Parks, who is serving as a senior advisor during the transition and has been at EWU for 34 years, will be assisting Hickey.

During Hickey’s time at UTSA, the university added football, women’s soccer and golf. Prior to UTSA, Hickey also spent 16 years at Texas A&M, serving as the women’s basketball coach for several years before taking over as Senior Athletic Director.

“I’ve been in the business for a long, long time,” said Hickey. “So hopefully the expertise and experiences that I’ve had in building and growing the program at UTSA will fit in very well with where the program is at Eastern Washington.”