Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

EWU athletics director finalists are named

Interim AD Hickey, Utah Valley's Otoupal participate in forums


April 19, 2018

Lynn Hickey

A pool of 50 applicants has been drained to leave just two finalists for the position of Eastern Washington University's athletics director.

Current Utah Valley University AD Vince Otoupal and EWU's Interim Athletics Director Lynn Hickey will meet with campus constituent groups and take part in open public forums before the selection process is complete.

One forum took place Tuesday, April 17, and another will take place April 19 at the EWU Center on the Spokane Campus (SEWC), Room 122 at 5:30 p.m.

The opening occurred when former AD Bill Chaves ended a 10-plus year stay at EWU in January to take the same position at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

The two finalists were chosen from among six individuals and were selected by a diverse search committee co-chaired by EWU board of trustees member Judge James Murphy and the university's provost/vice president for academic affairs, Scott Gordon.

"The committee is impressed not only with the quality and experience of our two finalists, but with the strength of the overall applicant pool for this highly sought-after position," Gordon said in a news release. "We are excited for people to meet these two candidates in person."

Otoupal has led Utah Valley's athletics department since 2013, when the university transitioned to the Western Athletic Conference. Since then the department has achieved new academic records and athletic victories for all teams and set revenue records for money raised. Otoupal served as athletics director at California State University, Monterey Bay (2008-2013). He also held multiple positions in Stanford University's athletic department, where the Seattle native also played football during college.

Vince Otoupal

Hickey has served as interim AD at Eastern since February. Her appointment came after an 18-year stint as associate vice president and director of athletics at the University of Texas, San Antonio. During her UTSA tenure, the university experienced unprecedented growth by adding Football Bowl Subdivision football, women's soccer and golf. Prior to UTSA, Hickey served as senior athletics director and was a senior woman administrator at Texas A&M, College Station.

Gordon points out that the input received at previous public forums was valuable for the decision-making process during the search. Input from the two forums will be important in this final phase.

Chaves' replacement is expected to be named by the end of April.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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