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.
Leading off Monday in Billings was Peyton Deterding, whose most recent role was athletic director at the University of Illinois Springfield. But Deterding was only there for a just more than one year before he and the school parted ways in January.
"The chancellor (who had hired me) retired. Two months into my tenure, we entered into an interim (chancellor) situation and they had different thoughts as far as athletics was concerned," Deterding told MTN Sports Monday afternoon following his public forum greeting inside MSUB's Student Union Building. "And part of it was pandemic-related. So, that led me into looking for other opportunities."
While at UIS, Deterding (rhymes with bettering) pushed for men's and women's basketball to complete their seasons during the pandemic.
"Absolutely," he said. "Basketball completed the season and had an opportunity to go to the conference tournament."
Why the interest in MSU Billings?
"There's a great foundation in place here with Krista. She's done a great job," Deterding said. "I think the campus is very vibrant, the town of 100,000-plus is is vibrant as well. A lot of opportunities here and the Division II level is a great level to be at."
MSUB is close in size to Illinois Springfield with both schools hovering around 4,000 students. Deterding was in charge of 15 men’s and women’s varsity programs at UIS. MSUB showcases 17.
In terms of fundraising, Deterding increased it by more than 32% in his lone year at Illinois Springfield, also spearheading two newly endowed scholarships.
"Fundraising is a chance to connect with people and hear their story, match their interests, and I think there's an opportunity to do that here," he said.
Prior to his last stop, Deterding spent 12 years at Illinois State including three as senior associate athletic director for internal operations. He oversaw a $25 million budget and directed a $40 million upgrade in athletic facilities.
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.