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Louisiana-Monroe received 17 applications for the vacant athletic director position, filled by internal candidate Scott McDonald.
A public registration request made by The News-Star revealed that former Grambling State athletic director Paul Bryant was among the nominees. Bryant accepted the same position at Edward Waters College, an NAIA school in Florida, on June 12 after separating from GSU in December.
The pool included applicants with experience in college athletics, media and payday loans.
ULM President Nick Bruno interviewed Kent Hegenauer, Senior Associate Sporting Director for McDonald’s Internal Operations and Southern Miss, for the post. Hegenauer joined the staff of USM, his alma mater, in 2008 after stops in South Carolina, TCU, Michigan State and Tulane and has held his current title since 2012.
According to Hegenauer’s USM biography, his responsibilities include budget management, policies and procedures, human resources, event management, facilities, and the school’s baseball program.
Bryant, Hegenauer, McDonald, Vanderbilt associate athletic director Phillip Brown, NAIA athletic director Mayville State University (ND) Ryan Hall and Union County Junior College (NJ) women’s basketball coach Marbley Montas were the only occupying candidates current positions in sports administration.
Originally from Louisiana, Brown grew up in Pine Prairie and is also Director of Business at Vanderbilt. Brown began his career with the Commodores in 2015 as Assistant Commercial Director and previously was Assistant Sporting Director of Financial Operations for Division II Texas A & M-Kingsville.
Other seasoned candidates included former FCS Southern Illinois-Carbondale athletic director James Bell, former NAIA University Saint Mary, Kan. Athletic / recreation director Darrell Phipps, and former vice president and athletic director of NAIA Southwestern University (NM) William Weidner.
The ULM also received applications from Jimmy Beasley, freshman football coach and credit recovery teacher at La Porte High School (Texas), Demario Coleman, community relations specialist with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chanell Johnson, producer at MyNEWPhilly.com, Allan Jones, former president and CEO of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Eric McCurdy, former athletic director of Seattle public schools and director of basketball operations at the University of Houston, Bradley Myers, specialist calls to Vantage Health Plan in Monroe, Lashona Scott, account manager at IH Services in Crossett, Arkansas and former branch manager at Cash 2 U payday loans at Bastrop and Jevonta Williams, physical education teacher and defensive coordinator at Slaughter Community Charter in Slaughter, Louisiana.
Appointed permanent sports director of the ULM on June 12, McDonald’s experience was limited to the nine months he held the title ad interim. McDonald’s left a 34-year career in the banking industry to join Bruno’s staff as Executive Director in June 2018.
A ULM graduate, McDonald has served as president of the ULM L-Club, Warhawk Club, color analyst for ULM football, and serves on the university’s board of directors as president of the ULM Facilities Corporation.
Including McDonald’s interim tenure, ULM has gone through four athletic directors in the past two years, and six since Bruno became president in 2010.
A search committee for boosters, professors and staff assisted Bruno in the hiring process. Chaired by Vice President of Student Affairs Camile Currier, the committee included former Warhawk Club President Ron Bush, Vice President of Business Affairs Bill Graves, Assistant Professor of Political Science Leigh Hersey, Senior Vice President of First National Bank Mike McGee and Deputy Compliance Director / Acting Senior Women’s Administrator Ashleigh Simmons.
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