Florida Gulf Coast University’s search for an athletic director has narrowed to six finalists, and University of Maine director of athletics Blake James is one of them.
According to published reports in The News-Press of Fort Myers, Fla., James is one of six finalists selected by a school search committee which will conduct on-campus interviews April 13-24. FGCU president Wilson Bradshaw will pick the new athletic director and would like that person to start work July 1.
The other finalists are Robert Heller, senior associate director at Kent State University; Bradley University AD Kenneth Kavanagh; Michael Moore, Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis AD; current FGCU interim AD Jo-Ann Nester; and John Parry, deputy commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles and former Butler University AD.
The finalists are vying to replace Carl McAloose, who resigned last October after serving nine years.
McAloose resigned two days after FGCU announced a $3.4 million settlement in a gender-equity lawsuit involving former volleyball coach Jaye Flood and former women’s golf coach Holly Vaughn. The two coaches lodged complaints on Title IX gender equity grounds and alleged that FGCU retaliated by giving them poor job performance reviews.
James, 39, has been Maine’s director of athletics since July of 2005. Before that, he was senior associate athletic director for two years. He was also Providence College’s director of athletic development (2002-2003) and the University of Miami (2000-2001). He was also director of major gifts and corporate sales and director of ticket sales at Miami. James also worked at the University of Nebraska as athletic development officer.
Florida Gulf Coast University is one of 11 institutions in the State University System of Florida. It opened for classes in 1997 and has an enrollment of more than 10,200.
FGCU’s Eagles, which moved from NAIA to NCAA Division I sports competition in 2007, offers 14 sports that compete at the Division I level in the Atlantic Sun Conference.
James, whose wife Kelly is from Florida, earned a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami.