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NKU announces new interim athletic director

Kody Kahle

President Geoffrey Mearns (left) and Michael Cusack (right) posed after Monday afternoon's press conference announcing Cusack's acceptance as the interim athletic director. Cusack was Wright State's former athletic director until 2008 and will replace Scott Eaton until the search for a permanent director is completed.

Claire Higgins, Editor-in-chief

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Earlier today, NKU named former Wright State University athletic director Michael Cusack as the new interim athletic director. Cusack will step into the temporary position April 15, when he returns from a previously planned family trip.

“He knows our institution, knows what we’ve been able to accomplish over the last 25 years in athletics and knows that we have great potential to continue to do good things,” President Geoffrey Mearns said about the decision to bring Cusack to NKU.

Cusack served as Wright State University’s athletic director from 1982-2008, where he transitioned the school from Division II to Division I and “led a period of dramatic growth and transition for Raider athletics,” Mearns said in an email to NKU students, faculty and staff.

After retiring, Cusack continued to teach in Wright State’s graduate school, so he “kept his hand in it” and was admittedly nervous about accepting the position, Cusack said in a Monday afternoon press conference.

“But now that I’ve met the folks here, now I’m excited … I’m always excited anyway to do a challenge and this is a challenge,” he said.

Compared to Wright State, NKU is similar in size and in athletic program success, yet Cusack said the “best years are still ahead,” which is what he said when first arriving at Wright State as well.

Cusack will replace former athletic director Scott Eaton who was terminated on March 18 for ethical misconduct. The investigation into the specifics of Eaton’s termination is still on going without a set date for completion.

Mearns said he plans on releasing information whenever it becomes available to be transparent and honest with the university community.

Current acting athletic director Gerard St. Amand will continue to serve until April 15, when Cusack returns.

By that time, Mearns said a formal search committee for a new athletic director will be set and the search will be underway. A decision will be made on the new director before the fall semester begins, according to Mearns.

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NKU announces new interim athletic director