Colorado Mesa University announced today that it has found two replacements for their exiting director of athletics, Tom Spicer. Kris Mort and Bryan Rooks will fill the role left by Spicer in a joint position, sharing the duties of athletic director.

CMU President Tim Foster decided against conducting any search to fill the position as he felt the talent within the university was sufficient, according to Dana Nunn, CMU’s director of media relations.

“Foster said he realizes that this might be an unorthodox organizational structure in collegiate athletics departments but CMU often operates outside the box when it is of benefit to the students and the university,” the press release said.

The two co-directors of athletics are expected to split up the responsibilities between the two of them on matters of the different sports inside the program and administrative duties. While Nunn said the specifics are being worked it out, it is unknown at this time if Rooks and Mort will also split the position’s original salary.

The university has not given a formal explanation concerning Spicer’s exit five days ago but has said Foster and Spicer had “philosophical differences” about the future of the program.

Tom Spicer, former director of athletics. Courtesy of CMU.

CMU athletic veteran and alumnae Mort has been with the CMU athletic program since 1994, serving as the women’s softball coach until her retirement from the position in 2012. Since then, Mort has worked in the athletics’ administration as the senior associate director of athletics for finance and as the senior woman administrator.

Kristin Mort, co-director of athletics. Courtesy of CMU.

Rooks is also a CMU alumnus, joining the program in 2001 as the assistant football coach. Rooks became an associate athletic director the same year as Mort, 2007. Rooks officially held the position of senior associate director of athletics for internal and external operations and compliance.

Bryan Rooks, co-director of athletics. Courtesy of CMU

Austin Kaiser, who has been the assistant director of athletics for student success and compliance since March of 2016, is said to be maintaining a “significant role” in the leadership team, according to the press release.

Austin Kaiser in 2013. Courtesy of CMU.

“Austin brings a lot to the table. He has certainly had experience as a student-athlete,” Nunn said. “I think the work that he has done in supporting the athletic success of student-athletes is important as well.”

Nunn expects Kaiser to continue that role and see it “expanded somewhat” within the new administration. Kaiser played with the CMU baseball team four years ago as an outfielder.

While the CMU fall athletic season does not begin until August, Mort and Rooks will begin their roles as co-directors effective immediately.

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Alec Williams
Alec Williams is a political science major and editor in chief for The Criterion's 2017/2018 academic year. Starting in the spring of 2016, Williams rose from the ranks of a reporter to news editor to managing editor to his current position. Williams was awarded the Society of Professional Journalists 2016 Region 9 Mark of Excellence for his efforts in investigative reporting.


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