Mathew trying to keep NDSU ship afloat
FARGO — Don’t expect Prakash Mathew to walk into his first day as interim athletic director at North Dakota State and proclaim the Bison are moving to the FBS. In fact, don’t expect much at all other than a longtime NDSU administrator, in his words, trying to keep the ship afloat.
The ship is already a well-oiled vessel.
“My role is to stay the course and support the staff,” he said.
Mathew is slated to retire June 30 as the NDSU vice president of student affairs. He said he’s going to take a little time off before taking over for Gene Taylor, who resigned Monday to take the deputy director of athletics position at the University of Iowa.
Mathew said he and Taylor will spend a week together at the end of July before Taylor leaves for Iowa.
“He has big shoes. It’s not my job to fill his shoes,” Mathew said. “At the same time, I understand the culture, I have the history, I’ve been a part of the university for a very long time, and I understand it fiscally.”
Mathew has spent 38 years at NDSU. He was the chair of the athletic department’s certification process to Division I while the school was going through a reclassification. He’s attended several NCAA compliance meetings, he said.
“I’m familiar with the athletic department,” he said.
He said he wouldn’t have taken the interim position had it been for an extended period of time. At the Monday news conference, NDSU President Dean Bresciani said he expects the process to move quickly.
The school is not hiring a search firm.
The job description is in the process of being written and will be finalized in the next week, said Laura McDaniel, the assistant vice president for university relations. Two possible internal candidates are Jack Maughan, the senior associate athletic director for development, and Troy Goergen, the senior associate athletic director for marketing/media relations.
Maughan, an NDSU graduate and former Bison wrestler, said he’s still dealing with Taylor’s announcement and said his focus is closing the Bison Sports Arena renovation campaign fund. He said he would first need to see the job description before getting any further into the question.
“That being said, my ultimate goal is to be an athletic director,” Maughan said. “I have to determine if this is the time.”
That’s essentially the same stance Goergen took on Wednesday, saying it’s too early to give it a lot of consideration. He’s been at NDSU for 14 years.
“It would probably be contrary to my mindset not to consider it,” Georgen said. “But at the same time, I respect the president lining things up like a search committee and the job description. I’ll probably give it more consideration once that is done.”