Diacon announces committee to begin director of athletics search

The search for a new director of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at Kent State will begin in earnest this week.

President Todd Diacon announced in an email to Kent State students and faculty this morning that the university would be instituting a 12-member search committee to find a replacement for current Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen, who announced that he would not be seeking a new contract with Kent State.

The search committee will be led by Lamar Hylton, Kent State’s vice president for student affairs.

“I am confident that with their leadership, and with the leadership of search chair Vice President Hylton, we will hire an outstanding leader to continue the Golden Flashes’ tradition of academic and competitive success,” Diacon said in his statement.

The committee also includes women’s golf coach Lisa Strom and two student athletes in gymnast Nasha Manitkul-Davis and football player Isaac Vance, who serve as members of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Alongside the search committee, the university has enlisted CarrSports Consulting LLC to advise the search process. CarrSports is an agency that specializes in consulting college athletics programs, and on its website says to have helped place over 130 college athletics executives at universities.

Diacon said nominations, recommendations or information requests about the search could be directed to [email protected].

The search will begin this week with the committee constructing a profile of what they would like the new director’s qualifications and traits to look like.

Diacon said the committee was seeking feedback from the Kent State community and the public in the search, and his statement included links to a search page and online survey for feedback.

In the statement Diacon said that the university expected a new director of athletics to be in place by July 1, 2021.

Owen MacMillan is a sports editor. Contact him at [email protected].