Jul 06, 2020
Fresno State’s President Dr. Joseph Castro poses with former athletic director Jim Bartko in Nov. 2014 when it was announced that Bartko would become the new athletic director. (Collegian File Photo)

Search for new athletic director is underway

A search is now underway for Fresno State’s new athletic director, five months after the resignation of former AD Jim Bartko.

The job opening was posted on April 23, and a 14-person search committee has been formed to sift through applications. The committee is being led by Debbie Adishian-Astone, the university’s vice president for administration and associate vice president for auxiliary services.

The rest of the group is composed of university administrators, coaches, faculty and alumni. Members include University President Dr. Joseph Castro, head football coach Jeff Tedford and assistant athletic director for compliance, David Hall.

Applications will be accepted until May 20. Adishian-Astone said interviews would begin in the middle of June.

Some of the qualifications Fresno State is looking for in candidates include “excellent  administrative and financial management skills” and a “commitment to the academic mission and success of student-athletes,” according to the job listing.

The Fresno Bee reported that the school will not be using an executive search firm. In 2014, when Bartko was hired, Fresno State employed the services of DHR International for the search process.

Since Bartko’s resignation in November, Steve Robertello has filled the role of athletic director on an interim basis. In those five months, Robertello fired Lauren Netherby-Sewell and hired Jonathan Winder as the volleyball coach, and hired Justin Hutson as the men’s basketball coach after Rodney Terry took the head coaching job at University of Texas at El Paso.

Robertello has expressed interest in removing the interim label and serving as the incumbent athletic director.

“My focus right now is on the day-to-day work that needs to be done in our athletics program in moving our folks forward, but like I’ve said, I’m very happy in Fresno and hope to be here long term,” he told The Collegian in February.

The school has also opted to abandon a $60 million renovation plan for Bulldog Stadium. The plan was a product of Bartko’s tenure.

The school will instead move forward with $45 million in renovations to Bulldog Stadium, focusing on the bathrooms, concession stands and seating. The student-athlete village will be seeing a $20 million makeover.

Fresno State’s future athletic director will be stepping into an athletics department facing a 23.7 percent decrease in ticket revenue over the past eight years, according to The Fresno Bee.

The department lost two more of its pieces since Bartko’s resignation. Franklin Alegria, senior associate athletics director for development, resigned in January, and Terry Donovan, senior associate athletics director for business operations, was hired as Stanislaus State’s athletic director in March.

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