ITTA BENA – Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) announced Monday its three finalists from a national search for its athletic director position. The finalists were selected by a university search committee consisting of a cross-section of university faculty, staff, administrators and alumni. The three finalists selected are Mr. Paul Bryant, Mr. Ashley Robinson, and Mr. William Weidner, each of whom will participate in on-campus interviews in the coming weeks.

“I sincerely appreciate the tremendous work of the selection committee in identifying these three outstanding candidates to assist in leading our university’s athletics program to even greater heights,” said university president Donna Oliver.

Bryant is currently the Director of Athletics at Eureka College, where he has led the college’s athletic program to include eighteen intercollegiate sports, and experience a significant increase in overall grade-point averages amongst the college’s student athletes. Additionally, during Bryant’s tenure as Athletic Director, the college has secured lucrative corporate sponsorships, including a branding contract for their athletic team’s apparel and outfitting with Adidas Corporation. He formerly served as the Associate Director of Athletics at Urbana University, where he helped the university raise some $1 million dollars for the installation of field turf at the Urbana University Blue Knight Stadium. Bryant holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Education from Alaska Pacific University and a Master of Education degree from Urbana University.

Robinson presently serves as the Assistant Vice President for Athletic Compliance and Academic Advising at Prairie View A&M University, where he maintains responsibilities relating to all university, conference and NCAA rules and regulations governing the operation of the university’s intercollegiate athletic program. He formerly served as Assistant Commissioner of Compliance in the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC), the Assistant Compliance Director at Jackson State University, and as the athletic academic coordinator at Delaware State University. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation from Mississippi Valley State University, and a Masters Degree in Sports Management from the United States Sports Academy.

Weidner is an athletic administrator with over 27 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, having formerly served as the Director of Athletics at the University of Texas Pan American and Weber State University, as well as having served as Deputy Athletics Director at the University of Central Florida and the University of San Francisco. During his time as Athletic Director at the University of Texas Pan American, Weidner oversaw and led major improvements in the program’s fundraising efforts towards achieving many athletic facility improvements, including the construction of a new multimillion dollar campus baseball stadium. Weidner holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Springfield College and a Master of Arts degree in Physical Education from Stanford University.

Bryant will be on campus August 1; Robinson will be on campus August 2; and Weidner will be on campus August 3. A university community forum for faculty, staff, students, alumni and members of the extended Valley community will be held to meet and hear from each candidate from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon in the auditorium of the Sutton Administration building, room 103, on each of those dates.

In addition to the university community forum, each finalist will also meet face-to-face with the selection committee, the university’s head coaching and athletic department staff, as well as the executive cabinet and university president. The university hopes to officially name its new Athletic Director before the beginning of the upcoming Fall 2012 semester.

“As a university community, we certainly look forward to visiting with each of the prospective candidates and learning more about what they plan to bring to the Valley to enhance our program and continue the overall athletic and academic growth and development of all of our student athletes,” Oliver said.


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