The University of Oregon has scheduled a news conference for 11 a.m. Thursday to introduce its new director of athletics, Rob Mullens, the deputy director of athletics at the University of Kentucky.
The selection of Mullens was reported by Portland radio station 95.5 and confirmed by sources contacted by The Register-Guard.
Mullens had been mentioned as a possible replacement for AD Debbie Yow at Maryland. He spent six years working under Yow at Maryland, after previously working at the University of Miami, and worked at Lexington for former Oregon State athletics director Mitch Barnhart over the past seven years. He was recently a finalist for the AD job at West Virginia, his alma mater, where he holds a degree in business administration and a masters degree in athletic administration.
Mullens has a business background, including working for a year at the accounting firm of Ernst and Young after earning his undergraduate degree in business administration. At Kentucky, Mullens has functioned as a combination of a chief operating officer and chief financial officer.
The Ducks have been searching for an AD since Mike Bellotti resigned earlier this year. Lorraine Davis has been serving as interim athletics director.
The new AD has been hired by President Richard Lariviere, who made it clear that Bellotti, hired by the previous UO president, Dave Frohnmayer, would not be retained. Bellotti, the former UO football coach, resigned in March to become an analyst for ESPN.
Challenges inherited by Mullens will include managing the program’s escalating budget amid a huge expansion of facilities, with the new Matthew Knight Arena scheduled to open during the coming basketball season, and managing a relationship with Oregon’s chief financial benefactor, Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
Mullens will become Oregon’s 14th since the title was formalized. Previous ADs: Leo Harris: 1948-67; Len Casanova: 1967-70; Norv Ritchey: 1970-76; Pete Wingert: 1975-76; John Caine: 1976-81; Rick Bay: 1981-84; Bill Byrne: 1984-92; Rich Brooks: 1992-94; Dan Williams: 1994-95; Bill Moos: 1995-2007; Pat Kilkenny: 2007-2009; Mike Bellotti: 2009-10; Lorraine Davis, 2010