By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
OXFORD – The search to replace Ole Miss athletics director Pete Boone is officially under way, the school announced Friday.
Ole Miss chancellor Dr. Dan Jones said the search committee has been completed. It will begin meeting next week, and Jones is hopeful a new AD will be in place by the end of the spring semester.
The release said Boone will serve until a replacement is named or until June 30, whichever comes first.
That brings more definition to Boone’s remaining time as AD. On Nov. 7 – the day the dismissal of former football coach Houston Nutt was announced– it was said that Boone would step down at some point during the 2012 calendar year.
In the fall, a campaign of full-page newspaper ads funded by a largely anonymous group calling itself “Forward Rebels” called for Boone’s ouster.
Boone has retained full authority within the job and continues to fulfill SEC responsibilities as well. He is under contract through 2014 and is completing his second tour as the school’s top athletics executive.
The AD search committee closely resembles the football coach search committee that led to the hiring of Hugh Freeze. Famous alum and former quarterback Archie Manning and FedEx vice-president Mike Glenn will co-chair the committee.
They are joined by alumni president Richard Noble, faculty members Ron Rychlak and Ethel Young-Minor and UMAA Foundation governing board member Cal Mayo.
Only Mayo did not serve on the football coach committee.
“I added Cal Mayo to the committee because as a member of the UMAA Foundation’s governing board, he will represent the interests of our donor base. Cal is also very familiar with collegiate athletics,” Jones said in the release.
Jones said he asked the committee to “cast a wide net” in its search.
The search firm of Eastman and Beaudine assisted with the football process, but no search firm has been retained at this time.
Some names who could emerge as candidates include Walker Jones, the direcort of sports marketing for Under Armour, Charlie Hussey, director of marketing and licensing for the SEC, Austin Barbour, a Jackson lobbyist, and Brad Teague, currently the AD at Central Arkansas.