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Candidate for UND athletic director post touts 20 years of experience

Kellie Elliott, a finalist for UND's athletic director position, speaks to a group of people at Gorecki Alumni Center on Tuesday. (Brad E. Schlossman/Grand Forks Herald)

During the past 20 years, Kellie Elliott has spent time in numerous roles in the athletics world across the country.

She's been at Yale, San Jose State, Florida State, Stanford, Cal, as a consultant and currently is the deputy athletic director at Texas-San Antonio.

Elliott says all of those experiences have prepared her to be the next athletic director at UND.

Elliott addressed a crowd of people at an open forum at the Gorecki Alumni Center on Tuesday afternoon. She was the third person to interview for the job.

Western Michigan senior associate athletic director Monty Porter spoke to a public forum on Sunday night and UND Champions Club executive director Mike Mannausau addressed a public forum on Monday afternoon.

Eastern Washington athletic director Bill Chaves will be the final candidate to interview in person for the job. His public forum will be held from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Gorecki Alumni Center.

Elliott told the crowd at the Alumni Center that she often took jobs to become well-rounded in all areas of athletics.

Prior to working at Texas-San Antonio, Elliott worked as a consultant for a private high school's athletic program. She was the chief operating officer at Cal's alumni association, the director of conferences and event services at Yale, the deputy athletic director for external affairs at Florida State, the deputy athletic director for internal operations at San Jose State and a project manager at Stanford, her alma mater.

Elliott also held temporary positions with the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Elliott said she felt the UND job is a long-term one, though.

"I'm taking my time to find the right fit for myself," Elliott said. "Before, I almost felt that I took positions because somebody asked me to. I think, at this point, I want to decide what's best for me and I want to make sure it's a fit for the family and a fit for the long term. I'm excited about the administration being new as well. That, to me, works really, really well."

She also said she is intrigued with UND President Mark Kennedy, who has been at the school for about a year and a half.

"It was the opportunity, I think, with the new president and the vision with the strategic plan," she said. "Most importantly, though, his background coming from business and also government. I think that's very unique. I think that affords us the opportunity to look at things differently and proceed with a different focus."

Despite working primarily in warmer climates, Elliott said the weather shouldn't be much of a shock to her.

"I spent time in Connecticut and Salt Lake City, so I like the snow," she said.