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Instant Peay Play: Hunt for next APSU Governors Athletics Director nearing an end

Legends Bank, Clarksville TNClarksville, TN – For the second time in just over two years it looks like the search for a new Austin Peay State University athletics director is coming to a close, with the announcement by the University that it was narrowed the search to four candidates.

Austin Peay State University Sports Information - , APSU, Governors, Govs, Lady Govs

Ryan Ivey (athletic director at Texas A&M University-Commerce), Jason Coomer (senior associate director of athletics for external affairs at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), Dr. Roderick D. Perry (deputy director of athletics at Wright State University) and Jim Sarra (deputy director of athletics at The University of Texas at San Antonio) will be coming to Austin Peay for on-campus interviews early in July in hopes to replace Derek van der Merwe – who after 1 ½ years in the position stepped down after being named the APSU’s Vice President for Advancement, Communication and Strategic Initiatives in March.

Ivey has been at Texas A&M University-Commerce since 2013 and will be interviewed on July 7th, is no stranger to the area being a Mayfield, KY native and a four-year letter winner at the University of Memphis as a punter and holder on the football team – graduating in 2004.

Prior to his 2½ years at Texas A&M Commerce, he spent six years at McNeese State as associate athletic director and handled the day-to-day operations of the Cowboys athletic department nearly-eight million dollar athletic budget, both in an internal and external capacity.

The two years before going to McNeese State, Ivey spent two seasons as the Director of Operations for the University of Memphis women’s basketball team.

He has also served for a time as the Marketing and Promotions Coordinator for the University of South Dakota, as well as a Stadium Operations Assistant for the Memphis Redbirds.

Coomer, who will be interviewed on July 9th, originally joined SIUE in October of 2008 as assistant athletic director for sales and marketing before being elevated to senior associate athletic director for external affairs in 2012. He also served as the school’s men’s tennis coach from 2011-15.

While at SIUE, Coomer has direct oversight of corporate partnership program, marketing, ticketing, licensing, sports information, and broadcasting. He has also been intrical in the assessment, design, and management of SIUE athletics’ strategic plan.

Coomer, who graduated from the University of Southern Indiana in 2001, came to SIUE after spending three years at DePaul University as the assistant director of marketing and licensing and the two years prior to that as the assistant director of ticket sales.

Dr. Perry, who will be interviewed on campus on July 17th, has been it Wright State for 14 years, including the last five as deputy director of athletics and has oversight over a $10 million athletic department budget and was instrumental in the school signing its first apparel contract with Impact Sports to wear the Nike brand.

He also leads in the athletic department strategic and financial planning and oversees numerous areas, including academic advising, media relations, compliance, strength and conditioning and athletic training, as well as several sports and the general administration for the day-to-day activities of the department.

Prior to be elevated to deputy director of athletics, he served as senior associate athletic director, starting in 2008, after serving as associate athletic director for compliance and student services at Ohio University.

He has also worked in the athletic departments at Florida and Auburn since graduating from Auburn in 1995 and earned a Ph. D. from Dayton in 2013.

Sarra, who will be interviewed on July 22nd, has been deputy director of athletics at Texas San Antonio since August 2009 after being elevated from senior associate director of athletics for external affairs for three years, associate athletics director for administration for a year and assistant athletics director for compliance for a year. He is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the athletics department and supervises the areas of academic services, compliance and strength & conditioning.

Prior to that, Sarra was responsible for direct oversight of corporate sponsorship sales, marketing & promotions, media relations and ticket operations. He also led fundraising efforts through the athletic department’s annual fund.

Before him time at Texas San Antonio, Sarra held the position of Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Student Services at the University of Maryland. Prior to Maryland, he served in many different administrative roles at Washington State, Portland State, Texas Christian, Ball State, Northwestern and St. Bonaventure. Sarra, who was also a finalist for the athletics director position at Cal State Fullerton in 2012, graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1989.

There will be an open session for the public and media to meet the candidates from 4:45p.m. to 5:15p.m., in the Club Level of Governors Stadium on the individual dates they are on campus.

Chris Austin
Chris Austinhttp://www.clarksvillesportsnetwork.com
Chris Austin is a graduate of Clarksville High School and Austin Peay State University. Chris is a former Head Softball Coach for APSU, and assistant basketball coach for CHS. Chris has worked at the Leaf-Chronicle, and WJZM News/Talk/Sports radio. Has also worked at the Sports Information Department at APSU, and has covered championship events for the Ohio Valley Conference and NCAA. Chris is an avid sports fan and can be found at most Austin Peay State University sports events.

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