BILLINGS -- The direction of MSU Billings' athletic department is on the line this week as the Yellowjackets interview three finalists on campus for their athletic director position.
After Krista Montague announced her resignation in March, MSUB's short list is narrowed to one candidate who worked most recently in Illinois, one in Oregon and one who used to work in the Yellowjackets' athletic department.
Tuesday, MSUB welcomed Michael Feuling, who has a heavy fundraising background, to campus for a series of interviews.
Right now, Feuling (sounds like filing) is a development officer for the annual fund and for community relations at Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon. It's a position he's held since December, where Feuling is in charge of the school’s annual giving campaign and develops strategies with businesses and corporations.
"Huge fundraising background," Feuling told MTN Sports. "A lot of (NCAA) Division II (success) is just creating opportunities and reducing barriers."
Prior to his time at Linn Benton, Feuling spent 10 years as the assistant athletic director for development at his alma mater, Western Oregon. The Wolves are members of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference alongside MSU Billings. Feuling designed and managed Western Oregon’s fundraising campaigns and donor relations and led the university’s major giving projects.
Here's what he'd like to do as AD for the Yellowjackets:
"The big thing is making sure our student-athletes have every single opportunity, along with our coaches, to succeed," he said. "Whether that is facilities, whether that is scholarship money, we need to make sure they're competing at the highest of levels and that they're also recruiting and retaining students to this great campus."
One of the questions directed toward Feuling in Tuesday's public forum centered on the geographic location of MSUB and the possibility of shifting from the GNAC to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
"I think you work with the chancellor in order to determine a couple things," he said. "No. 1, is it financially stable and good for the university and the student-athlete? We want to be good in that league, we want to be able to compete at the highest of levels every single year.
"You then have to look at life in the balance. Are they spending most of their time traveling to Alaska, to Simon Fraser? Making sure that we're financially sound and the student-athletes are getting the best experience possible."
Peyton Deterding, whose most recent role was athletic director at the University of Illinois Springfield, was interviewed on campus Monday. Former Yellowjacket athletic department staffer Michael Bazemore is scheduled for his on-campus interview Wednesday.
MSUB chancellor Stefani Hicswa is expected to name the school's new athletic director by next week, according to the athletic department, with a start date of July 1.