Columbus State University

Columbus State to name new athletic director on Friday afternoon

Columbus State will name its new athletic director at a news conference at 2 p.m. today at the Lumpkin Center.

Jan Burcham, the chairwoman of a seven-person committee that was appointed to make a recommendation to school president Tim Mescon, said that three finalists were interviewed in Columbus on Thursday.

The committee members interviewed eight candidates last week in Atlanta, home to Parker Executive Search, which CSU hired to help it find the school’s next athletic director.

Jay Sparks resigned the position to accept the women’s basketball coaching post at Francis Marion University in early April. Since that time, Johnny Williams has served as the interim athletic director.

CSU paid Parker a set fee of $45,000, plus expenses, according to a copy of the agreement between CSU and Parker. Parker will also reimburse candidates for “interview travel expenses and invoice the University for those reimbursements.”

CSU Assistant Vice President for University Relations John Lester said earlier this month that the money is being paid by the Columbus State Foundation and not by the school.

Burcham is the Teacher Education Department chairwoman and a professor in Early Childhood Education.

The other members of the committee are Aaron Sanders, an English professor; Michael Johnson, CSU Auditor; Laurence Marsh, professor of business; Russ Carreker, local businessman; Chip Reese, dean of students; Glenn Stokes, professor of biology and faculty athletic representative; and Tom Helton, vice president of business and finance.