U athletics directors agree to one-year contract extensions

John R. Carter

In keeping with other high-profile positions at the University, both men’s athletics director Tom Moe and women’s athletics director Chris Voelz are fulfilling one-year contracts this school year.

The announcement comes after Moe signed a three-year contract and Voelz expressed interest in a longer-term deal.

University Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Tonya Moten Brown said both deals will continue the length of the 2001-02 fiscal year, which ends June 30.

The contracts will roll over into another year unless the University gives notice or one of the directors resigns, neither of which Moten Brown expects to happen.

“This brings the ADs back to a more consistent appointment (system) as other senior administrators,” Moten Brown said.

With both directors signed to one-year renewable contracts, such a move could be a step in the direction of combining the two departments, though Moten Brown rejected that possibility.

“The University has stated for many years that we are committed to the separate department structure,” Moten Brown said. “We don’t have any plans to merge the departments.”

The University is the lone school in the Big Ten, and one of only a handful in the country, with separate athletics departments for men and women. Consequently, the University is the only school in the conference with two athletics directors.

Moe’s contract was reduced over the summer from three years to one. He signed the three-year deal last November after serving as interim director since December 1999.

Moe said University President Mark Yudof desired stability when Moe became the permanent men’s athletic director. But after a successful first year on the job, Moe approached Yudof with the idea of reducing the contract.

Moe said the change will add more flexibility to his future, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to step out the door now.

“When I took over, my goal was to see some things happen that I feel are important,” Moe said. “I have some ideas about where the department should be going. As long as I feel I can make a contribution, my inclination would be to stay. But if I feel that I am not, then I would (retire).”

Voelz, in her 14th year as head of the women’s department, hasn’t been under a long-term deal since 1998.

Moten Brown said Voelz expressed interest in a long-term contract after Moe signed his three-year deal last year but is comfortable with the consistency these contracts offer.

“She understands and is still willing to be a champion for her department,” Moten Brown said.

Voelz did not return phone calls Wednesday. Moten Brown said the salaries of each individual are still being negotiated.


John R. Carter welcomes comments at [email protected]