UTEP AD Finalists Interviewing on Campus This Week
This week, UTEP will be conducting on-campus interviews with their three finalists for the Director of Athletics position. Jim Senter, the current AD at The Citadel, was on campus Monday, while Dr. Lisa Campos and Chris Park will interview later this week. Dr. Campos, who many believe to be the favorite to replace Bob Stull, is also rumored to be interviewing this week for the same position at the University of Texas San Antonio. She is currently the Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics at Northern Arizona University but she was UTEP’s Senior Associate Athletic Director from 2006-2012. Dr. Campos brings a strong track record of academic success for her student athletes at NAU along with a men’s cross country NCAA National Championship.
Park is getting a strong push from Stull to succeed him at UTEP and has other backers from inside the university as well as around the El Paso community. Since 2012, he has been the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development and External Operations at UTEP. Park works closely with Tim Floyd and the Miners basketball program, and he helped organize many of the events surrounding the 1966 Texas Western College 50th anniversary celebration of their National Championship win.
Senter is the wild card in the Director of Athletics search. He transitioned to athletics administration from college football coaching, where he spent 16 years as an assistant. Senter began at Idaho and later spent time at Idaho State and San Diego State before moving to the University of Colorado for nine years. He became AD at The Citadel in August 2014, and the school’s football team advanced to the FCS playoffs in 2015 and 2016.
One surprise is that Brian Wickstrom’s name has not been mentioned for the opening. Wickstrom served under Stull at UTEP as Senior Associate Athletic Director for five years before becoming AD at both UC Riverside and University of Louisiana Monroe. He has developed a strong reputation as a fundraiser and he has been responsible for improvements in athletic facilities at both schools. Wickstrom was named Director of Athletics at the University of Incarnate Word about two weeks before Stull retired, but a source indicated to me that his contract has not yet been executed.
UTEP would like to have their Director of Athletics hire in place by the end of this month. Whoever gets the job will need to hire a football coach immediately, since Mike Price’s interim position ends after UTEP’s final game against UAB on November 25th.