University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart will lean on two former UA athletic department officials as she searches for the next athletic director.
Cedric Dempsey, a former Arizona AD and NCAA president, will aid in the search, as will former UA deputy athletic director Kathleen "Rocky" LaRose.
Greg Byrne will leave the UA on Feb. 1 to become the new athletic director at Alabama. Hart is expected to have a new AD in place in the next few months. It's unknown if Erika Barnes, who was named interim athletic director last week, will be considered.
"As we move through the transition to a new athletics director, it will be advantageous to call upon the knowledge and experience of Rocky and Cedric, two of the best college administrators in NCAA history," Hart said in a news release.
Hart will have the final say, even though she is expected to leave the UA sometime in the next year.
"I'm excited about this opportunity and look forward to working through the process of identifying and hiring Arizona's next athletics director," she said.
Dempsey hired UA softball coach Mike Candrea, basketball coach Lute Olson, volleyball coach Dave Rubio and football coach Dick Tomey between 1985-94. He then spent nine years as head of the NCAA. This isn't Dempsey's first time serving as a UA adviser: He helped then-president Robert Shelton hire Byrne in 2010.
LaRose retired as the UA's deputy athletic director in 2013. She oversaw the internal operations of all 20 sports at the UA and became the first woman in college athletics history to oversee both football and men's basketball programs. LaRose, a former UA softball player, served as interim AD for six months before Byrne was hired.
Click on the attached links for possible AD candidates and columnist Greg Hansen's take on the search.