Kent State Launches Search for New Director of Athletics

Kent State University today is launching a national search for the university’s next leader of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. A 12-member search committee led by Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D., vice president for student affairs, has been appointed to recruit and screen highly qualified candidates for the director of athletics position.
“Kent State is blessed with talented student-athletes, coaches, employees, alumni and supporters who embrace our athletics philosophy of graduating student-athletes and winning championships,” Kent State President Todd Diacon said. “We are pleased that stellar individuals have agreed to serve on the search committee. I am confident that with their leadership, and with the leadership of search chair Vice President Hylton, we will hire an outstanding leader to continue the Golden Flashes’ tradition of academic and competitive success.”
The search committee will begin its work this week by crafting a position profile, including qualifications and characteristics desired in the next athletic director. A search website has been created and can be accessed for updates. CarrSports Consulting LLC will assist in the search process. The firm has extensive experience in conducting national searches for athletic directors for more than 20 years, and its client list includes many Mid-American Conference (MAC) and NCAA Division I institutions.
The search committee seeks feedback from the university community and the public regarding the qualifications, characteristics and experiences it should seek in the university’s next athletic director. Faculty, staff, students and the public are invited to offer suggestions and perspectives by completing an online survey, and nominations, expressions of interest and information requests may be submitted to

“Intercollegiate athletics is a core piece of our university experience,” Hylton said. “It is exciting to be searching for the next leader of athletics at Kent State during this pivotal moment of evolution in higher education. I am confident that this search committee will lead the way in finding a leader who is not only qualified but will take our athletics program to even higher heights.”
Kent State expects the selected individual will be in place no later than July 1, 2021.
Diacon extended the university community’s gratitude to Director of Athletics Joel Nielsen for his dedication to Kent State since 2010 and for sharing his plans to conclude his service at the end of this year, enabling a smooth transition. 

“Nielsen has been a steady hand in leading and growing Kent State Athletics, and our student-athletes have benefited from his tireless service,” Diacon said. “His is a powerful legacy of student success both on and off the field.”

For more information about Kent State Athletics, visit

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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Emily Vincent, evincen2@kente.du, 330-672-8595

POSTED: Monday, February 1, 2021 - 10:08am
UPDATED: Monday, February 1, 2021 - 10:33am
University Communications and Marketing