U dismisses two associate athletics directors

Regina Sullivan and Jason LaFrenz will depart as Norwood Teague moves the U’s athletics department in a new direction.

by Andrew Krammer

The University of Minnesota athletics department has let go of two associate athletics directors, athletics spokesman Garry Bowman confirmed Wednesday.

Both senior associate athletics directors Regina Sullivan  and Jason LaFrenz were dismissed because “with the addition of Mike Ellis and David Benedict, I think they felt they had a little duplication of skill set there,” Bowman said.

Sullivan was the senior women’s administrator and in charge of basketball operations, while LaFrenz oversaw external relations and ticket sales.

First-year athletics director Norwood Teague added former colleagues Ellis and Benedict to his staff shortly after leaving Virginia Commonwealth University for the University of Minnesota.

Benedict and Ellis, both from VCU, have taken over football and basketball operations, respectively, since their arrival to the department this summer.

“When a new administration comes in, they have a vision of what they want their administrative staff to be,” Bowman said. “I just know they wanted to go in a different direction.”

Randy Handel will be the interim associate athletics director for development while continuing his major gift duties for the Golden Gopher Fund. Chris Bahl has been named interim associate athletics director for external relations, taking over marketing, ticketing and licensing. Bahl will continue his major gift duties as well.