American Hires Oklahoma's Gill As Athletic Director

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 9:34 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ American University formally introduced Keith Gill, a member of the athletic department at Oklahoma, as its new athletic director Thursday.

AU had been searching for an athletic director since September, when Joni Comstock left to become senior vice president for championships at the NCAA. Gill will be the university's fifth athletic director in seven years.

``I'm excited to be part of the American University family, and I want to work to improve student and campus life across the board,'' Gill said.

Interim President Neil Kerwin said AU was impressed with Gill's leadership at Oklahoma, where he has been senior associate athletic director for administration since August 2004. Gill previously worked as an assistant athletic director at Vanderbilt and as director of membership services for the NCAA.

Gill's background as a four-year letterman in football at Duke University also attracted AU officials, who wanted an athletic director who understood the need for success in the classroom as well as on the field.

``(Gill) understands and exemplifies our deep, unshakable commitment to the student-athlete ideal,'' Kerwin said.

AU's 243 athletes combined this academic year to earn the highest GPA ever in the athletic department's history. Gill said maintaining that success was one of the challenges that attracted him to the program.

He urged athletes to meet with him when he assumes the position in June, and said he would try to ``pick the brains'' of students and the athletic department staff to continue building the program.

Gill's hiring comes just days after American received its first Division I National Championship with wrestler Josh Glenn's NCAA wrestling title Saturday.

``I watched the wrestling championship on TV this year, and I look forward to being there in person next time,'' Gill said.