Maturi named lone A.D. finalist

Ben Goessling

Joel Maturi, the athletics director at Miami of Ohio, was named the only finalist Tuesday for Minnesota’s athletics director position.

Maturi’s appointment as athletics director is pending Board of Regents approval, who will likely decide on Maturi at their meeting this month, according to Executive Vice President Tonya Moten Brown.

Maturi was “unanimously and enthusiastically” approved by the athletics director search committee Tuesday morning, said Chairwoman Mary Jo Kane.

“You will never meet anybody who cares more deeply about intercollegiate athletics than Joel Maturi,” she said Tuesday.

Maturi was named the sole finalist after Jim Livengood, the athletics director at Arizona, turned down the position. The University’s search firm contacted Minnesota senior associate athletics director Jeff Schemmel, and UCLA associate athletics director Betsy Stephenson has talked with the search firm and the University, but neither appears to be a serious candidate for the position.

Maturi, a native of Chisholm, Minn., came to Miami of Ohio in 1998 after serving as the athletics director at Denver University from 1996-98. During his tenure at Denver, he guided the Pioneers to Division I status in every sport except men’s hockey, in which they already had that status.

Maturi was also the associate athletics director at Wisconsin from 1992-96 and played an integral part in elevating the Badgers’ athletics program to its current status, something outgoing University President Mark Yudof said was a major factor in Maturi’s being named a finalist.

Moten Brown said Maturi would likely be on campus on either Monday or Tuesday next week to meet many of Minnesota’s coaches, athletes and boosters.

Maturi met with his staff at Miami of Ohio on Tuesday to tell them he would likely be leaving the university. He has expressed strong interest in the job, and his enthusiasm for Minnesota was one of the things that sold men’s hockey coach Don Lucia on his candidacy.

“People always talk about what is wrong with Minnesota,” Lucia said. “We really wanted somebody that wants to be here and is excited about Minnesota. His heart is here, and it’s great that he wants to come home.”

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