Akron Narrows AD Search To Five

Updated 8/22/2000

The University of Akron has selected five candidates to bring to campus to interview for the position of Athletic Director. Each of the finalists will visit campus in the next several weeks.

The candidates are Dr. Eve Atkinson, athletic director at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.; Gregory S. Burke, athletic director at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La.; James E. Harris, athletic director at the University of Alabama at Huntsville; Steven C. Moniaci, associate athletic director at Rice University in Houston; and Michael J. Thomas, associate athletic director at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville.

More than 80 people applied for the position, including current ADs, assistant ADs, as well as coaches, players and administrators in professional sports, says Richard L. Aynes, dean of the University's School of Law and head of the search committee.

"This was a very strong pool of candidates. The choices the committee had to make were difficult because we had so many outstanding candidates from which to choose," Aynes says.

Eve Atkinson has served as director of athletics at Lafayette College, a NCAA Division I member with I-AA football, for 10 years. Prior to Lafayette, she served for six years as associate AD at Temple University. With more than 25 years in athletic administration, Atkinson was the first woman in the nation appointed as an NCAA Division I director of athletics for men's and women's programs with Division I-AA football.

Gregory S. Burke has served as athletic director at Northwestern State since 1996. Burke previously held two posts within the Zip athletic program, serving as a development officer for athletics from 1992-95 and as director of athletic development/marketing from 1995-96. In his current post at Northwestern, Burke oversees a Division I program with 14 sports and an annual budget of more than $3 million.

James Harris is in his sixth year as director of athletics at Alabama (Huntsville), which competes in Division I in men's hockey and offers 11 sports that compete at the Division II level. He previously worked at Rice University, as well as Ohio State, Utah State and Bowling Green State University. Under Harris, the Huntsville program has added baseball and softball, captured two Division II national championships in hockey, and placed several teams in NCAA post-season competition.

Steve Moniaci has served as associate AD at Rice University since 1997 after joining the Rice athletic department in 1980. He currently is responsible for fundraising, promotions, marketing and sports information. He previously held responsibility for departmental operations, including game management, transportation and the direction of championship and special events.

Michael J. Thomas has been associate director of athletics at Virginia since 1993. Before joining Virginia, Thomas was assistant director of athletics at the University of Denver, and served at the University of Iowa. At Virginia, Thomas supervises eight varsity programs. He is responsible for all Virginia athletic facilities and serves as a liaison to several departments dealing with student-athlete issues.