JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Following several changes within the ETSU Athletics Department, News Channel 11 spoke with acting athletic director Dr. Richard Sander.
Sander was appointed as the interim athletic director (AD) after Scott Carter resigned early in August.
On Wednesday, Sander told News Channel 11 he expects to remain in the role through the end of the year and into 2023.
“I think I’ll do this through January,” Sander said. “We’ll see where we are with that and what needs to happen, and then President Noland and I will decide how we’ll move forward, but I’m excited.”
Sander said there are several things he is looking forward to in the fall sports season, like being part of new head football coach George Quarles’ first season. Sander also said he expects a bright future for ETSU’s soccer and golf teams.
However, Sander is not the only person in the department who has found themselves in an interim role. Jackie Alexander was named interim head coach of the ETSU Women’s Basketball Team after Simon Harris was suspended with pay and the university announced plans to fire him.
Harris’ suspension follows allegations of Title IX and NCAA violations. The university plans to officially fire him on Aug. 15. Harris will have a chance to appeal that decision.
Alexander has been a part of the women’s basketball program since April 2021. Prior to that, she was an assistant coach at Eastern Kentucky University.
Sander told News Channel 11 that finding a permanent coach for the women’s basketball team before their season starts is a priority.
“ETSU is a great place; it’s a great job,” Sander said. “There’s somebody out there who would want to come in here and try to lead this program, so I think that’s the reality.”
In a media release Thursday, Sander said a national search would be held to determine the next head coach for the women’s basketball team.
“I have decided to do a national search to find the leader of our women’s basketball program,” said Sander. “After meeting with the staff earlier this week, I named Jackie Alexander the Acting Head Coach. Jackie will be given the opportunity to interview for this position as we begin the search process.”
One day after Harris’ suspension was announced, ETSU forward Demi Burdick announced she was entering the transfer portal.