UNK Athletic Director Position Narrowed Down to Four Finalists


Four candidates will be advancing as finalists for the position of athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen announced Tuesday that the finalists are Jean Berger, Mary Ellen Gillespie, Rick Goeb and Paul Plinske.

Alden and Associates, an executive search firm, has been assisting in the search since May, when Jon McBride announced that he would be resigning from the position.

"We are very pleasedat the quality of applicants for our position," said Kristensen. "The committeehas worked diligently to assist me in identifying a particularly strong groupof experienced and highly successful finalists with unique strengths that giveus a number of pleasing options moving forward."

Berger has served as senior associate athletic director/seniorwoman administrator at the University of Northern Iowa (Division I) since 2008. Additionally, she has 28 yearsof successful collegiate athletics administration experience, including atWayne State College in Nebraska.

Gillespie is associate athletics director for external relationsat Bowling Green State University (Division I) where she has also been heavilyinvolved in development/major gifts since 2006. She has extensive experience in development, advancement and studentlife at Purdue University, the North American Interfraternity Conference, andUniversity of Iowa.

Goeb served as director of athletics at Bemidji State University(Division II) from 2001-2013. He has prior experience as senior associateathletic director at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and washead wrestling coach at St. Cloud State.

Plinske has been director of athletics at the University ofWisconsin-Whitewater (Division III) since 2004. He was previously associatedirector of athletics at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse andinvolved in athletics administration at the University of Illinois andUniversity of Minnesota while pursuing masters and doctoral degrees,respectively.

According to Kristensen, campus visits will be scheduled immediately. He says the goal is to have a new athletics director before fall sports begin.

"Even though we haveset an aggressive timeline, I'm equally pleased with the quality of ourfinalists and our process," Kristensen said.