U of M launching national search for permanent AD

Jim Hackett addresses the media before introducing Jim Harbaugh as the new head coach of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2014.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WOOD) — The University of Michigan is launching a national search for its next athletic director.

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel made the announcement Wednesday morning saying the search will begin immediately, although he did not have a specific timetable in mind of when someone would be hired.

“I will take as long as necessary to make sure it is a great fit for what I think is the best opportunity for an athletic director in the country,” said Schlissel, who will personally chair the search advisory committee.

Jim Hackett, a former Steelcase CEO who has served as interim athletic director since the resignation of Dave Brandon in October 2014, is not a candidate for the position and apparently never wanted to be considered for the permanent role. However he did agree to serve until a permanent successor was in place and will also serve on the search advisory committee.

“Jim Hackett has been an exceptional interim AD,” Schlissel said. “I could not have asked for more from a leader. He stepped up at a moment of need and has served the institution with great distinction. Personally, he has been a pleasure to work with and I will always owe him a debt of gratitude.”

Hackett’s biggest moves since taking over have been ousting former head football coach Brady Hoke at the end of last season, hiring Jim Harbaugh shortly thereafter, and signing a $169 million apparel and equipment deal with Nike over the summer.

The person hired will become the university’s 11th AD in 150 years of intercollegiate athletics at the university.

It’s unknown if school officials have anyone in mind for the position.

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