Eastern Illinois has chosen three finalists for their Director of Intercollegiate Athletics: Rick Hartzell, Tom Michael and Jim Sarra.
Hartzell is the former Athletic Director at the University of Northern Iowa where he led the program from 1999 through 2008. Since 2008 Hartzell has worked in private industry while serving as an NCAA Basketball Official. In addition to his experience at Northern Iowa, Hartzell served as the Athletic Director at Bucknell University from 1988-99 and at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)from 1985-88. Hartzell brings more than 30 years of coaching and administrative experience with additional coaching and administrative stops at Northwestern University, University of Iowa and Coe College.
Hartzell holds both a bachelors and masters degree from Northern Iowa. He played both football and baseball at UNI.
Michael is currently employed as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Illinois having served in that position since 2012. Michael has been a member of the Illinois athletic department since 1996 when he started as an academic counselor. For the past 12 years he has worked in administration at Illinois serving as both an associate athletic director and assistant athletic director for student services.
Michael holds both a bachelors and masters degree from Illinois. He played basketball at Illinois.
Sarra is currently employed as the Deputy Director of Athletics at the University of Texas San Antonio having served in that position since 2009. He has ten years of experience in administration at UTSA joining the department as an assistant athletic director of compliance in 2005. Sarra was the Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of Maryland in 2004-05. He has additional administrative roles at Washington State University and Portland State University. He has worked in the athletic departments at Texas Christian University, Ball State University, Northwestern University and St. Bonaventure University.
Sarra holds both a bachelors and masters degree from St. Bonaventure with an additional masters degree from Western Illinois University.
Dan Nadler has served as the interim athletic director at EIU since late April when Barbara Burke accepted a position as the Deputy Director of Athletics at Tulane University. University officials anticipate the new athletic director to assume duties sometime in August.