SEATTLE — The University of Washington is still hoping to name a new athletic director by June.
It won’t be interim athletic director Scott Woodward.
The temporary replacement for ousted former AD Todd Turner said Thursday he is not going to be a candidate for the full-time position that has been open since Turner was forced out by university president Mark Emmert.
Woodward will go back to his job as the UW’s vice president for external affairs, though he will remain closely involved with the athletic department and will work closely with the new AD.
Woodward’s — and the university’s — immediate priority remains the effort to find funding for a proposed $300 million renovation of 88-year-old Husky Stadium, the oldest football venue in the Pacific-10 Conference.
The university has formed a search committee and hired an outside firm to aid in finding a new athletic director. Emmert believes he is still on course to name a replacement by the end of the current academic term.
“We want to make a smart choice. We want to do it right,” Emmert said at the outset of the search.
Huskies coaches have been waiting months to find out who their next boss will be — none more than football coach Tyrone Willingham. He lost his most ardent administrative supporter when Turner left amid grousing by alumni and fans over the stalled football program.
Emmert hasn’t promised Willingham any more than the 2008 season, the fourth year of Willingham’s five-year deal that pays him $1.4 million per year.
The coach’s status is sure to be an immediate issue with the incoming athletic director, who will inherit a surplus that what Turner estimated was about $19 million when he left the department in December.
Chris Hill, athletic director at Utah since 1987, was one of the three finalists for the UW job when Emmert hired Turner. Hill is also largely responsible for the $50 million renovation to Utah’s football stadium that coincided with Salt Lake City hosting the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Another candidate with Washington ties and a past record of fundraising success is Bill Moos, the athletic director at Oregon from 1995 until early this year. Moos lives outside Spokane and consulted with Washington State on its search for a new football coach.
Part of Moos’ buyout at Oregon includes a noncompete clause. Moos would forfeit his payment from Oregon if he accepted an AD job at a BCS conference school.
Other potential candidates in what has been a secretive process: Northern Illinois AD Jim Phillips, another finalist when Turner was hired, and Mike Cragg of Duke. Cragg runs the Legacy Fund that fuels the Blue Devils’ enormously successful and profitable basketball programs. But the native of Yakima and 1986 UW graduate has focused mostly on basketball.