New EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey’s busy first week


EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey at her introductory address on April 25 at Reese Court. Hickey was named the permanent AD after serving as the interim for over two months | Photo courtesy of Eastern Washington University

By Taylor Newquist, Reporter

Newly hired EWU athletic director Lynn Hickey had a busy first week in her permanent position, addressing personnel vacancies and filling the final spot on the football team’s schedule.

The Eagles will open the season at home against Central Washington University, on Sept. 1.

“Adding that game was pretty difficult,” Hickey told The Easterner. “It was really late in the year to not have a game. We had called everybody in the country at every level, division one, two and three.”

To try and find potential games, Hickey said the university uses an outside service called Gridiron, developed by Dave Brown of ESPN, that allows schools to see all scheduled college football games for the next five to ten years. Even with this program, Hickey said they were still unsuccessful in their search.

“Finally we made contact with Central Washington,” said Hickey. “They had a home game and we were able to work with them and the other school to change that and get Central here. I think for the situation we’re in it’s a really good solution. Central has a very good program, it’s an in-state school and it’s at a time when our students aren’t here yet, so to maybe draw a good crowd from Central to here will be very helpful.”

Hickey hired women’s soccer associate head coach Peter Showler on April 26. Showler was the head coach of the University of Idaho’s women’s team from 2005-2014 and is the winningest coach in program history.

The hire filled one of five vacant coaching positions at EWU. Positions were recently opened when Hickey dismissed volleyball coach Michael King and assistant Nathan Fristed on March 27, and cross country coach Chris Shane’s contract was terminated in December.

Still open are the head and assistant women’s volleyball coaches, head cross country coach, and a second assistant women’s soccer coach in a new position being added to the staff. Hickey said that a committee will meet next week to evaluate applicants for those positions.

“We’ve been able to add another staff member to the [women’s soccer] program which we needed to do,” said Hickey. “I think everything is moving along really well. You want to do the searches well, you want to bring in the best people that you can, you have HR policies to follow, that I think we’ve moved as quickly as we possibly can to get this done.”

Devon Thomas was named the Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs on May 1, addressing a staff hole left when Marc Hughes stepped down to pursue other business opportunities in Cheney earlier this month.

“We are excited that Devon has joined EWU and will be assisting us in athletics,” Hickey said. “Hughes had been here for a while so we lose some historical knowledge, but we have a new person that brings significant experience and oversight at a major college level as well as at the Big Sky level.”

Hickey has laid out a plan for the first 90 days of her tenure, with the first 30 days consisting of 17 different points of focus.

Notably, Hickey would like to become fully immersed in financial reporting, audits, budgets and performance, finalize searches for open staff positions, sign a new medical service contract to be implemented before fall football camp, review medical support systems regarding nutrition, physician care and mental health resources.

“We got to jump in to looking at our staff organization,” said Hickey. “Looking at our reporting lines and our whole organizational structure. Then digging into the financial pieces of what our budget really is, where the gaps are and starting to put some fundraising plans together as quickly as we can.”