Even though the process and decision took months Northern Michigan University made the right choice in hiring Forrest Karr as the new athletic director.
As the pervious news editor of The North Wind, NMU's student newspaper, I had an opportunity to get to learn about all of the candidates for the position and hear what they bought to the table. All three candidates had the credentials for the job and were definitely qualified for it but Karr, in my opinion, was the best guy for the job.
Coming from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, a Division I hockey school, was the first reason that made me lean toward Karr originally. Other than the United States Olympic Education Center, NMU's hockey program is the biggest and most popular sport at the university. So by having experience with a Division I hockey school, which was also in the same conference as NMU, was a big advantage for Karr that couldn't be overlooked.
Karr went through the mess of the Big Ten Conference for Division I hockey being created while at UAF and knows what it did to the rest of the conferences. With NMU switching conference because of that new one, I think that Karr will be able to help make the switch as smooth as possible.
As The Mining Journal reported on Wednesday, another advantage that seemed to put Karr on top for me was that he had worked alongside the Ken Godfrey, the former NMU athletic director, and Steve Reed, the interim athletic director.
That connection with NMU gave Karr a leg up on the competition because he had an idea of what the university needs. Even during his public presentation back in April, everyone could tell that Karr did his homework on NMU and knew what the main concerns of the athletes, campus community and Marquette community were. As everyone knows, doing the homework really pays off and for Karr it paid off in a big way.
Editor's note: Northern Michigan University student and Mining Journal Staff Writer Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.