April 02, 2015

Four finalists named for SIU Carbondale athletics director post

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Southern Illinois University Carbondale today (April 2) announced the names of four finalists for director of intercollegiate athletics.

The search advisory committee, appointed by SIU System President Randy Dunn in January, reviewed 67 applications. SIU Carbondale alumnus Doug Woolard, who has been serving as a special adviser to the athletics department, assisted the committee in identifying and recruiting candidates from a national pool and with the review of candidate information.

Each of the finalists will visit the campus for meetings, interviews and an open forum in late April. Dunn expects to fill the position later this spring. The finalists’ resumes are available on the chancellor’s website.

Here is a brief look at the finalists:

James T. “Tommy” Bell has served as director of intercollegiate athletics at Western Illinois University in Macomb since 2013.  The university has 20 NCAA Division I sports programs in two conferences, the Missouri Valley Football Conference and the Summit League, and the athletics department has a staff of 80. From 2007 to 2013, Bell was director of intercollegiate athletics, recreation and intramurals at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, and from 2001 to 2007, he was associate director of Institutional Advancement for SIU Carbondale’s athletics department. Bell held several positions at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb from 1987 to 1999, including assistant athletic director-annual fund and major gifts officer. He earned a master’s degree in health and physical education in 1987 from Radford University in Radford, Va., and a bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1979 from Virginia Tech.

Leon M. Costello has served as the deputy director of athletics at South Dakota State University in Brookings since July 2014. Among his responsibilities is supervising women’s volleyball, men’s basketball and wrestling. He also has supervised women’s soccer, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s golf. He served as senior associate athletics director from March 2010 until he was appointed to his current position. Prior to South Dakota State, Costello held a number of positions at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls from 2002 until 2010, including associate athletic director/external relations, assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions, and director of athletic marketing and promotions. He earned a master’s degree in physical education-sports management in 2002 from Western Illinois University, and a bachelor’s degree in physical education-sports science in 1998 from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa.

Richard H. Darnell Jr. has served as senior associate athletic director-development at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 2012. From 2007 to 2012, he was executive director of athletic fundraising at Baylor University, and from 2004 to 2007, Darnell served as associate athletic director for development/executive director of the Vandal Scholarship Fund at the University of Idaho. He also was assistant basketball coach at McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., from 2002 to 2003. He also has foundation experience with the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alumni Foundation, and has held corporate positions with Chevron/Texaco, Monsanto and Accenture. He earned a master of business administration degree in 2000 from Washington University in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation in 1992 from the United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Rick Hartzell, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, served as director of athletics for the University of Northern Iowa from 1999 to 2008. The program includes 18 intercollegiate sports and Hartzell oversaw a staff of 65 coaches, seven administrators and 22 support staff. From 1988 to 1999, he was director of athletics and recreation at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., and from 1985 to 1988, Hartzell served as director of athletics/chairman of physical education and recreation at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Since 2011, he has run a motivational speaking business, and since 2008 Hartzell has been chief executive officer and president of Three Wide Media and Ecreative Group, which focuses on marketing and promotion, as well as print magazines, in the racing industry. He has completed the requirements except for his dissertation for a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Iowa. He earned a master’s degree in educational administration in 1977, and his bachelor’s degree in physical education and English in 1974, both from the University of Northern Iowa.