University scheduled to appoint next A.D.

Nick Collins

Northwestern’s next Director of Athletics will be named at a 1 p.m. press conference Wednesday, university officials said.

The announcement will mark the end of an 11-week search period after current A.D. Rick Taylor announced his retirement March 6. The new Director of Athletics will be introduced at the John C. Nicolet Football Center, said Alan Cubbage, NU’s vice president for university relations.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Monday that Taylor’s successor to the top spot in the NU athletic department will most likely be Colgate A.D. Mark Murphy.

Cubbage would neither confirm nor deny the Sun-Times report when contacted Monday.

Murphy has been at the helm of Colgate’s athletic program for the last 11 years.

Colgate is in the Patriot League and competes at the Division I level for men’s and women’s basketball and the Division I-AA level for football. The school, which enrolls about 2,800 undergraduates, consistently ranks in the NCAA’s top 10 for student-athlete graduation rate.

Murphy has filled coaching positions in all three of the school’s major sports during his tenure.

Colgate officials would neither confirm nor deny that their A.D. was on the move.

A two-sport letter winner while attending Colgate, Murphy was signed by the Washington Redskins out of college. He played free safety for the Redskins from 1977-85. As team co-captain, he won a Super Bowl in 1982 and was named to the Pro Bowl in 1983.

Murphy continued his education throughout his playing career, earning a master’s degree in administration during his Pro-Bowl season. He completed a law degree at Georgetown in 1988. Murphy was working as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice when he was named Colgate’s A.D. in 1992.

NU’s next A.D. would likely begin his stint on August 31, when Taylor’s retirement becomes effective.