NORTHRIDGE — Paul Bubb, who has presided over Cal State Northridge's acceptance into the Big Sky Conference and made the difficult decision to fire basketball Coach Pete Cassidy, will remain as athletic director, the school announced Tuesday.
Bubb, 39, has served as interim athletic director since Bob Hiegert was fired last summer. Before that promotion, Bubb had worked in the Northridge athletic department as a fund-raiser since 1990.
Bubb was chosen over Joe O'Donnell, former athletic director at American University, and Bobby Thompson, athletic director at Texas San Antonio.
"One of the things that impressed me most about Paul was the way he handled himself in the interim capacity," said Ron Kopita, Northridge vice president in charge of student affairs. "He functioned very much like an athletic director and he didn't ride the fence. He showed he understands the goals and objectives and issues surrounding Cal State Northridge."
Bubb said he is glad he has the opportunity to finish the job he started eight months ago.
"I feel like I came to work today and I have a job that I get to continue doing for a longer period of time," he said.
Bubb also said he wasn't sure he would be selected until he heard from Kopita on Tuesday morning.
"I believed that Northridge was going to hire the best person for the job," he said, "and I believed that I did everything in the past eight months to make this program better. . . .
"I'm glad I have the confidence of the vice president and the president to get the job done."
Among Bubb's first jobs will be to hire a basketball coach. About 50 coaches have applied for the position, vacated when Bubb decided not to renew Cassidy's contract last month.
The deadline for applications is Friday. Bubb said he has asked the search committee to forward a short list of names to him as soon as possible. He said he hopes to hire a coach between April 26 and May 1.
Bubb expects to name a coach for the new women's golf team within the next two weeks, and the search will begin for a permanent baseball coach in mid-May. Mike Batesole has been interim baseball coach since Bill Kernen's surprise resignation last fall.
Northridge also has two administrative vacancies--development director and business manager. The former position was held by Bubb before he was chosen as interim athletic director and the latter by Debby De Angelis before she left for Towson State last month.
"He has some significant tasks ahead of him," Kopita said, adding "upgrading facilities and continuing efforts to build fan and booster support" to the list.
John Price, Northridge volleyball coach, said he is glad Bubb got the position because of his ability to work with Kopita.
"That's a big plus in my mind," Price said. "Whoever is in that position, that has got to be the No. 1 thing."
Price added: "I think [Bubb] deserves a shot. He did a good job [as interim athletic director]. We've had crises here every year for the last 20 years, and we didn't have a major crisis this year."
Dave Baldwin, Northridge football coach, was also pleased with the decision.
"I'm excited that finally we have a permanent A.D.," he said. "Paul helped us get into the Big Sky and he's been real good toward football and making football a priority on this campus."
After playing football and basketball at Monmouth College in Illinois, Bubb became an assistant basketball coach at the school for two seasons. He then coached a high school team in Illinois. A season later, Bubb returned to Monmouth as assistant basketball coach and in an administrative fund-raising position.
In 1985, he became director of athletic development at Southern Illinois, where he helped increase the university's athletic funding by 70% and increased the number of donors by 50%.
He moved to a similar position at Drake in 1988, and helped with the school's $115 million major gifts campaign.