By Jesse Wolfersberger: CNJ sports writer
Clovis’ search for a new athletic director is in full swing and Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm says it is going well.
“We have about six to eight applications and we are expecting more before the deadline,” Seidenwurm said.
The deadline for applications is Nov. 15.
Current athletic director Dale Fullerton is leaving Clovis at the end of the semester to take a job as principal of Bovina High School in Texas.
The hunt has been on since Fullerton announced his plans in mid-October.
Jim McDaniel, the assistant superintendent for personnel, said after the applications are reviewed about five candidates will be brought in for interviews.
“(The process) is just like it would be for any other job,” McDaniel said. “It is pretty much the same as it would be for a third-grade teacher. Obviously it is a little different because it’s a higher profile position. People don’t write stories about hiring a third-grade teacher.”
Some of the qualifications on the job listing are a master’s degree, high school coaching experience, and experience in public school administration or supervision.
Seidenwurm says her number one qualification is someone who is a “class act.”
“As an athletic director you are involved in as many volatile situations as anyone,” she said. “Sports are very important to the kids and to the parents, and tempers often flare.”
Seidenwurm said a “class act” is someone who would be able to handle such situations with finesse.
Athletic directors are responsible for setting schedules, meeting with the New Mexico Athletic Association, weighing in on rule changes, making sure players are eligible to play, and policing coaches, Seidenwurm said.
Clovis assistant football coach Darren Kelley said he is sure whoever is chosen to fill the position will be qualified and a good fit for the school.
“Hopefully, it’s someone who Clovis athletics are important to, and that Clovis is important to,” he said.
Kelley, Clovis’ current defensive coordinator, said there is at least one area where Fullerton will be hard to replace.
“You’ll miss him as an athletic director and you’ll miss him as a defensive coach to help you out,” Kelley. “I guess I’ll have to call Bovina now to get help instead of going to his office.”
Fullerton is a former defensive coordinator for the Wildcats, and was on the coaching staff for a total of 16 years over two stretches.
The listing says the chosen candidate would get a one-year contract worth between $61,890 and $73,706.
Seidenwurm said she is confident that the school will be able to hire a qualified candidate from this group of applicants.
Because the vacancy begins during the middle of the school year, there is a chance the chosen candidate will not be available for immediate employment. In that case, Seidenwurm said, Clovis would hire an interim athletic director to bridge the gap.
“(The interim AD) would be somebody who was capable and available,” she said.