One voice matters more than all the others by an order of magnitude in Saint Mary’s search for a new athletic director.
Basketball coach Randy Bennett’s comfort level with the candidates will be essential, and it should be. His program is, by far, the Gaels’ greatest asset.
Disclosure: I haven’t spoken to Bennett about the search, or the qualities he values most.
But after mulling the situation with a half-dozen contacts, all of them well-versed in matters of Gael athletics, here are six potential candidates.
Whether there is serious interest, I do not know. But it would come as little surprise to see any of the following six as finalists.
(There will assuredly be others involved, and perhaps many others.)
Scott Leykam: Current athletic director at Portland but a Saint Mary’s alum who worked with Bennett during his tenure as senior associate commissioner of the WCC.
Mark Massari: Current deputy athletic director at Oregon State with Bay Area roots through his sales-side work with the 49ers — and as a former intern at SMC.
Mike Matoso: Current athletic director at Stanislaus State but versed in the ways of the WCC from his tenure as an associate AD at San Diego. Cal Poly grad with a stint at USC.
Gloria Nevarez: Current senior associate commissioner at the Pac-12 who also worked for the WCC but has on-campus experience. Stops include Cal and Oklahoma.
Dan Shell: Current executive with IMG whose candidacy would seem like a major stretch, except that he’s a former Gaels assistant coach under Bennett. Would he make the jump?
Marty Storti: Current senior associate AD at Saint Mary’s who is said to have a good working relationship with Bennett. If the search process leads nowhere and the Gaels turn in-house, he’s the one.
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