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Maxson Formulating Plans to Replace O'Brien

Long Beach State: University president expects athletic director to accept job at William & Mary or Temple.

February 26, 1996|JASON REID | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LONG BEACH — Conceding Athletic Director Dave O'Brien likely will leave Long Beach State, President Robert Maxson is formulating plans to replace him, he said Sunday night.

O'Brien is expected to be offered the athletic director's job at the College of William & Mary. He also is the top candidate for the vacant post at Temple.

If O'Brien accepts either position, Maxson will conduct meetings quickly with the 49ers' head coaches to determine their top choice for an interim athletic director. Maxson also will seek input from the athletic department's support staff. After naming an interim director, Maxson will select a committee to conduct a national search for a permanent replacement.

"The coaches are the key," Maxson said. "The coaches have such difficult jobs, you need for them to be able to work with the athletic director to make the whole thing work.

"This doesn't mean they can vote [on an interim athletic director], but you need to know their feelings."

Bill Shumard and Bill Husak are expected to be among Maxson's leading candidates to fill the job. Maxson, though, won't comment publicly on replacements until O'Brien informs him he is leaving.

Shumard, formerly the athletic director at Cal State Fullerton, is the assistant vice president for university relations and development. Husak is the associate athletic director.

Husak and Shumard are interested, and sources said Husak has been more aggressive in pursuit of the job. Shumard is popular with many of Long Beach's most influential coaches.

Shumard has been a key figure in marketing and fund-raising at Long Beach, first in his role as an assistant athletic director. Seth Greenberg, men's basketball coach at Long Beach, declined to comment on whom he would support for interim athletic director.

However, Greenberg said he would like to see someone with a marketing background receive consideration.

"A marketing and promotion background is what we need right now," Greenberg said. "That's what we need to [complete] the Pyramid and take the program to another level."

O'Brien, 39, is meeting with Temple officials today in Philadelphia for a second round of interviews. O'Brien, who was named athletic director at Long Beach in 1991, met with Temple President Peter J. Liacouras and selected university officials last week. He also spent several days last week interviewing with William & Mary officials in Williamsburg, Va.

"Dave is a great athletic director," said Maxson, who has indicated he will consider counteroffers to keep O'Brien at Long Beach.

"We certainly don't want to lose Dave, but if Dave elects to leave, we'll wish him the best and we'll act from there."

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