SDSU Hires New Athletic Director

Jim Sterk arrives from Washington State University

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Artie Ojeda

    Newly named athletic director Jim Sterk said Monday that he plans to "awaken the sleeping giant" that is SDSU athletics. Now all he has to do is win a few football games and get fans to go to a game every now and then.

    Sterk, 53, arrives in San Diego after being athletic director at Washington State University since 2000. He replaces Jeff Schemmel, who resigned amid scandal in November.

    The selection of Sterk didn't come without some unusual behind- the-scenes maneuvering. A 10-member selection committee was charged with narrowing the selection process. According to SDSU President Stephen Weber, an internal leak of the candidates' names forced Sterk to withdraw himself from consideration. Sterk said he couldn't be involved in a "public interview process" at the risk of jeopardizing his job standing in Washington.

    Weber said he reserved the right to interview outside candidates; that's how Sterk re-entered the picture as a candidate.

    "With this hire, all the key ingredients are in place: outstanding leadership and coaches, incredible facilities and a top university located in one of the most attractive and innovative cities in America," Weber said.

    "I'm thrilled with this opportunity and looking forward to taking SDSU athletics to the next level of success," Stark said. "We want to build a program that the university, the community and all Aztec fans can be proud of."

    Sterk comes to San Diego with a record of successful fund-raising efforts at WSU. The school's football team, however, only won three of its last 23 football games.

    The school investigated Schemmel's travel expense records after the San Diego Union-Tribune inquired about an attempt to subpoena the records as part of an Alabama man's divorce proceedings. John David Lineberger's wife, Carolyn, testified in a deposition that she met Schemmel for multiple trysts in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and Point Clear, Ala., the paper reported.

    Carolyn Lineberger also testified that Schemmel told her he had no university business in Point Clear except to see her. But his travel records showed he requested university reimbursement for the rental car and gas he used to drive 330 miles from Atlanta to Point Clear to see her in January, the newspaper reported.