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Missouri builds 5-person advisory committee for athletic director search

Mizzou paid Korn Ferry $206,000 to find Mack Rhoades. The university will now resort to a five-person advisory committee, plus the same firm that was used to hire Kim Anderson.

Columbia Tribune's Black Toppmeyer and Joe Walljasper reports that chancellor Hank Foley has revealed its 5 person advisory committee that will be in charge of finding Mizzou's next athletic director.

The most intriguing part to this five person list is that Jon Sundvold, a Mizzou curator and highly respected ex-Mizzou basketball player, is not on the committee because he could be a potential candidate.

Sundvold stated, "If I was on the committee, I think they would say, ‘You can’t even visit about it...It doesn’t mean I’m all in, but I’m not all out either."

Foley apparently had reached out to Sundvold on July 13th to let him know he can't be on the search committee in case the university wanted him as a candidate. In light of the recent hype for Sundvold to become MU's next AD, Sundvold is still showing reservations on taking the position if he were to be offered.

"I would love to visit with Hank about the AD job, but it doesn’t mean I am actively wanting to be the athletic director." Sundvold said. "if I woke up some morning and lightning hit me in the head and I said, ‘I’d like to be athletic director,’ then you move to the next part of this whole puzzle that’s laying out in front in me."

Even if Sundvold wants the job, he still has some hoops to clear

The puzzle includes a university rule that precludes curators from working for the university for two years after the completion of their term. Sundvold’s term runs until Jan. 1. Sundvold said if all the pieces fell into place and Missouri wanted to hire him as athletic director, he would have to resign as a curator and the curators and general counsel would have to decide if he would be allowed to serve as an employee.

Here are the five people Foley revealed to be on the search committee:

  • Don Walsworth, CEO of Walsworth Publishing Company and former board of curators chairman. In 2013, Don and Audrey Walsworth gave MU athletic facilities an $8.3 million donation.
  • Christina Wells, MU's faculty athletics representative and law professor at Mizzou.
  • Phil Snowden, played quarterback for Mizzou in the 50's and is a member of the University of Missouri System board of curators.
  • Darryl Chatman, played linebacker for Mizzou in the early 90's and is an attorney in St.Louis.
  • Sarah Reesman, has spent 23 years with Mizzou's athletic department and is currently an Executive Associate Athletic Director/ Senior Woman Administrator.

Mizzou has also requested the assistance of Todd Turner from the North Carolina based executive firm, Collegiate Sports Associates. Which is the same firm that helped find Kim Anderson for the Mizzou basketball search.

Some big names are in the mix for candidates

Along with Sundvold, the search committee will have several other highly respected names to call on.  One of which is Gander Mountain's previous chief operating officer, Mike Owens. Owens played football for Mizzou in the mid 70's, and also worked at Anheuser-Busch for 27 years before joining Gander Mountain .

With the tumultuous year Mizzou had in 2015 and the relatively recent move into the SEC, one could say this is one of the most important hires in the history of the MU athletic department.