UConn announced today that they are starting a national search for a permanent athletic director and interim director Paul Pendergast has removed his name from consideration. The search could take up to three months and Pendergast will co-chair the committee to find his replacement.
This, to me at least, is bad news. I've been a big fan of the way Pendergast has handled the athletic department in the last four months, and the fact that he pulled in a $4.5 million donation for a basketball practice facility was the icing on the cake. I wanted him to be the new AD, especially after the Werth family credited their donation to their relationship with Pendergast. So that's the bad news.
The good news? Pendergast isn't leaving the school, and instead will move over to the UConn Foundation, where he'll be a fundraiser for both athletics and the UConn Health Center. In theory this could work out to be a best of both worlds situation because UConn gets to keep Pendergast's prodigious fundraising ability while having someone else to focus more on athletics, but a lot of that will depend on A) Who his replacement is and B) exactly how involved in the Foundation Pendergast is. As far as I can tell his title hasn't been announced and it's not clear what he'll be focused on.
At the very least I'm happy he's head of the committee to name a replacement, because you can bet fundraising will be given a lot of emphasis during the interview and selection process.