The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has announced the names of five finalists for the position of director of intercollegiate athletics.
Over the next two weeks, each of the finalists will visit Green Bay to tour campus and community and meet with members of the search and screen committee, the University’s chancellor and other stakeholders.
Each candidate also will make a public presentation. The 75-minute open forum sessions will take place in the Special Events Room at the Kress Events Center on campus.
The schedule is as follows:
• Kevin Buisman
Director of Athletics, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Monday, Sept. 23, 1:15 p.m.
• Dan Schumacher
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Chicago State University
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 1:15 p.m.
• Tim Van Alstine
Former Director of Athletics and Assistant Vice President, Western Illinois University
Thursday, Sept. 26, 1:15 p.m.
• Dan McIver
Interim Director of Athletics, UW-Green Bay
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 1:15 p.m.
• Mary Ellen Gillespie
Associate Athletics Director for External Relations, Bowling Green State University
Thursday, Oct. 3, 1:15 p.m.
The UW-Green Bay athletics director oversees a program that boasts a 44-year history (the last 32 in NCAA Division I), 16 intercollegiate sports, access to top-notch facilities in the Kress Events Center on campus and the Resch Center community arena across town, and membership in the Horizon League. The program has made NCAA tournament appearances in men’s tennis, men’s soccer, volleyball and women’s softball over the last decade, and has a perennial NCAA tournament team and Top 25 contender in the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team. In the classroom, Phoenix student athletes annually rank among the Horizon League’s best, highlighted by a recent No. 1-in-the-nation GPA ranking for women’s basketball.
UW-Green Bay is seeking a permanent successor to Ken Bothof, who resigned in June after 11 years with the Green Bay program to accept the AD job at Northern Kentucky University. Heading the search and screen committee is long-time UW-Green Bay administrator Dan Spielmann, who is special assistant to the chancellor, an attorney and former AD himself at UW-Green Bay and Northern Michigan University.
Spielmann says the position, as expected, attracted a number of strong candidates.
“We have people with athletics director experience at D-I schools, with significant fundraising experience, both private- and public-sector experience, some with ties to Wisconsin and some from outside the area,” Spielmann notes. “It’s a good mix. With the facilities we have, a solid conference, the national exposure with basketball and some of the other teams, the community support, a history of very successful student athletes, it’s not surprising this is viewed as a great opportunity.”
Following the candidate visits, Spielmann and his committee will share their impressions with UW-Green Bay Chancellor Tom Harden, who will also interview each finalist and is ultimately responsible for making the final choice.
Brief bios of the candidates are as follows:
Kevin C. Buisman
Buisman has served as director of athletics for Minnesota State University, Mankato, since August 2002. The university of more than 15,000 students competes at the NCAA Division I level in men’s and women’s hockey and at the Division II level in other sports.
Buisman moved to Mankato from the University of Northern Iowa, where he held positions in athletics and facilities administration from 1989 through 2002. He began his career there as assistant manager of the UNI-Dome in 1989 and became UNI-Dome operations manager in 1996. Two years later, he was appointed associate director of athletics for sports management. His final year at UNI, Buisman was responsible for directing the department’s fundraising efforts for the school’s new Human Performance Center.
Additionally, Buisman served as an adjunct instructor with UNI’s College of Business Administration from 1991 through 2002, teaching courses in corporate finance.
He earned his bachelor’s in management-finance at UNI in 1987 and completed his MBA there in 1989.
Daniel J. Schumacher
Schumacher has served as director of the intercollegiate athletics program at Chicago State University, an NCAA Division I school of about 7,000 students, since 2012.
Previously, he was athletics director for Division II Lewis University, located in Romeoville, Ill., from 2006 through 2012. For the four years prior, he was director of athletic development and external relations for Winona State University (Minn.), where he was responsible for the annual fund.
Prior to entering athletics administration in 2002, he worked in the financial services industry. He was an associate vice president for Conseco Finance Corporation in Chicago (1998-2002) after working for the company in St. Paul, Minn., as a senior risk manager and credit manager (1995-98), following five years as a branch manager for TCF Bank and Mortgage Corp. in Minneapolis (1990-95).
Schumacher earned bachelor’s degrees in business administration and public relations from Winona State in 1990, and returned to receive a master’s of educational administration in 2005.
Tim M. Van Alstine
Van Alstine served as director of athletics for Division I Western Illinois University, located in Macomb, from 2001 through May 2013. He was given the additional title of assistant vice president for student services in 2005.
Prior to joining Western Illinois, he was an associate director and then senior associate director of athletics with Ohio University, in Athens, between 1995-2001.
He was director of ticket operations for the University of Wisconsin athletics program from 1990-95, an assignment that followed shorter stints with the University of Maine as tickets, merchandise and summer camp manager (1989-90), and service as an academic counselor and grad assistant with the University of Illinois football and men’s basketball programs (1986-89).
Van Alstine was an assistant football coach for several years in the mid-1980s, first with St. Norbert College in De Pere (1982), Fordham University in New York (1983-84), and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa (1984-86).
Van Alstine holds a doctor of philosophy degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana, with an emphasis in athletic and educational administration, completed in 1992. He earned his master’s in educational administration and supervision from Fordham University in 1984 and his bachelor’s in English and physical education in 1982 from St. Norbert College.
McIver has 17 years of administrative experience with UW-Green Bay Athletics. He has been the program’s top administrator, on an interim basis, since the Aug. 1 departure of Ken Bothof. McIver was previously the senior associate athletics director for program operations.
McIver joined Phoenix Athletics in 1996 as assistant athletics director for program operations, and was promoted to associate athletics director in 2004. His varied duties over the years have centered on program operations and finances. As senior associate AD he oversaw financial operations of the athletics department and the Kress Events Center along with marketing and promotions, ticketing and sports medicine, as well as contract negotiations.
McIver received his bachelor’s degree in accounting from UW-Green Bay in 1994. He worked as an assistant in the University’s Business and Finance Office while a student, and as a staff accountant with a local telecommunications company following graduation. He completed his master’s in business administration at UW-Oshkosh in 2004.
Mary Ellen Gillespie
Gillespie has spent the last seven years with Bowling Green State University, a Division I school of about 20,000 students located in Bowling Green, Ohio. She joined the program in 2006 as director of major gifts, was promoted to assistant athletics director for development in 2007, and to her current position as associate athletics director for external relations in 2010.
Gillespie’s experience in higher education fundraising also includes service as director of development for Purdue University’s Schools of Nursing and Health Sciences (2005-06). She was vice president of advancement for the North American Intrafraternity Conference, based in Indianapolis (2000-05). This followed experience as an assistant director of student life at the University of Iowa (1998-2000) and at Plattsburgh State University of New York as a coordinator in the office of the dean of students.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in speech communication from Plattsburgh State in 1994 and her masters in counseling-student affairs practice from the same institution in 1997. She also earned a certificate in fund raising management from the Indiana University Fund Raising School in May of 2002.