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APSU names top five candidates for athletics director position

5/17/2013

            CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Austin Peay State University has narrowed its search for a new athletics director down to five strong candidates, and the University will begin interviewing the first two candidates on campus next week. APSU began looking for a new AD in April when Coach Dave Loos stepped down from that position after 16 successful years. Loos remains the head coach for the men’s basketball program.

            After an extensive national search, the University is bringing in the following five individuals for interviews:

            • Matthew Pope, senior associate athletics director at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga;

            • Bill Lansden, associate athletics director for athletics development at the University of Memphis;

            • Derek van der Merwe, deputy athletics director and chief operating officer for Central Michigan University;

            • Chad W. Kimmel, managing group leader-major gifts for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Wisconsin;

            • Julio Freire, senior associate athletics director for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.

            On Monday, May 20, the first candidate, Pope, will visit APSU for a full day of interviews. The University will host an open session with Pope at 4 p.m. in the Dunn Center Football Suite, room 227.

            On Thursday, May 23, Lansden will be on campus to meet with University officials. An open session will also be held with him at 4 p.m. in room 227. The public and local media are invited to attend both of those sessions.

            APSU is still in the process of finalizing the schedules for on-campus interviews with the other candidates. When those dates are set, the University will also host open sessions, allowing the public to meet with those individuals.

             “I’m proud that our University is able to attract such talented individuals from across both the state and the nation,” APSU President Tim Hall said. “These candidates know what our athletic programs are capable of achieving, and our new director will help usher in a new era of success at APSU.”

            That new era will include needed renovations to a few of the University’s key athletic facilities. After the 2013 football season concludes next fall, the home side of Governors Stadium will be demolished. A brand new $16.9 million facility, with state-of-the-art player amenities and corporate suites, will greet the Govs when the 2014 season opens.

           By next season, the Dunn Center arena will have just its third scoreboard since the facility was constructed. In addition, new LED tables will replace the current tables, allowing more professional signage display.

The Candidates:

Matthew Pope

           Matthew Pope is the senior associate athletic director at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. That program oversees 310 student athletes in 17 athletic programs and an annual budget of $14 million.

            Pope earned his Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education and his Master of Arts in Sports Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Throughout his 20-year career in Intercollegiate Athletics, he has served as athletic business manager for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, associate athletic director for business affairs at Western Kentucky University, athletic business accounting technician at UNC and in several administrative positions at UTC.

Bill Lansden

            Bill Lansden is associate athletic director for Athletics Development at the University of Memphis. That program oversees 425 student athletes in 19 athletic programs and an annual budget of $41 million.

            Lansden earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at Rhodes College, where he was a 4-year Football Letter winner and team captain. He earned his Master of Science in Sports Administration from Georgia State University. During his 17-year career in Intercollegiate Athletics, he served as marketing coordinator for the FedEx – St. Jude Classic, associate athletic director for external operations at Middle Tennessee State University and directed a $10 million “Vision for Victory” football campaign at the University of Memphis.

Derek van der Merwe

            Derek van der Merwe is deputy director and chief operating officer at Central Michigan University. That program oversees 350 student athletes in 16 athletic programs and an annual budget of $25 million.

            He earned both his Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Political Science and his Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. During his 15 years of professional experience in Intercollegiate Athletics, he has chaired a $22 million University Event Center Committee for a CMU basketball arena and fitness center, negotiated an all-sport apparel and equipment agreement with Adidas and reorganized a $5 million model for a Grant-in-Aid Scholarship program.

Chad W. Kimmel

            Chad W. Kimmel is managing group leader-major gifts for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at the University of Wisconsin. That program is part of the Big Ten Conference, with several athletic programs – including basketball and football – winning conference titles over the years.

            Kimmel earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Management from Austin Peay State University and his Master of Science in College Student Personnel from Kansas State University. During his career, he has worked as assistant director of marketing and promotions and assistant director of development for the Kansas State University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, director of development and senior director of development for Wisconsin’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and he served in a leadership position for that school’s development team, which raised $31 million in gift funds over the last year.

Julio Freire

               Julio Freire is senior associate athletics director for the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. UNLV is a Division I NCAA program that participates in the Mountain West Conference, and its teams have won several national championships.

              Freire earned his Bachelor of Arts in Education from Arizona State University and his Masters in Counseling from the University of Phoenix. Throughout his 22-year career, he has served as associate athletics director for Ohio University, associate athletics director for development at Tennessee Technological University, associate athletics director for development at the University of Arizona and he secured $13 million in cash gifts for a UNLV basketball practice facility.

            For more information on the University’s AD search, please contact the APSU Office of Public Relations and Marketing at 931-221-7459.