MSU will appoint Alan Haller sporting director on Wednesday


Michigan State University is set to appoint Alan Haller as its 20th athletic director at a special board meeting at noon on Wednesday, sources said.

Haller, currently MSU’s deputy sports director since 2019, has prevailed over two other candidates in recent interviews because of his holistic perspective of the sports department which includes women’s sports and unpaid sports, a source familiar with the process said. .

“He has a vision for MSU,” the source said.

The leadership of the Michigan State Sports Department had been stable for nearly a decade under Mark Hollis, who headed the department for 10 years but resigned in February 2018 amid the Larry Nassar scandal that also led to the resignation of the time. President Lou Anna K. Simon.

A graduate of MSU and a member of the sports department since 1995, Hollis was named the university’s 18th sports director in 2008. He helped lead the department through a series of unprecedented successes that included four appearances at the Final Four for the men’s basketball team as well as three Big Ten titles and a spot for the Spartans in the college football playoffs in 2015.

After Hollis left, former acting MSU chairman John Engler appointed Bill Beekman as interim athletic director. Beekman was then permanently appointed to this post in July 2018.

It was the first time that Beekman served in sports administration. He has been Vice President and Secretary of the Board of Directors since 2008 having held various positions in his alma mater since 1995, including Executive Director of the MSU Alumni Association, Senior Advisor to the Provost and Deputy Dean of Finance of the College of Human Medicine.

Haller, 51, from Lansing, has long been a part of Michigan State Track and Field, starting with his days as a defensive back, playing for coach George Perles from 1988 to 1991. He graduated the All-Big Ten Honorable Mention as a junior and senior and was selected in the fifth round of the 1992 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Haller played three seasons in the NFL before embarking on a career in law enforcement, working for the MSU Police Department for 13 years.

With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in human resources from central Michigan, Haller joined MSU’s sports department in 2010 as deputy director of sports for administration. In 2015, he was promoted to Senior Associate Sporting Director and added the Chief of Staff to his title in 2017 before advancing to his current position in 2019 as Beekman’s No.2 in the department.

There will be many challenges for Haller in his new role as the sports department continues to fight the effects of COVID-19. According to Beekman, MSU athletics is running on a $ 30 million deficit. Haller is also directly jumping into a sticky situation regarding the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams.

Beekman made the decision in October last year to eliminate both programs, but the groups continued to push to save the teams. In May, Beekman said he was willing to meet with representatives of the “Battle for Michigan State Swimming and Diving” group to discuss ways to save the program.

These meetings, however, never took place. It is not clear which direction Haller will take, but the group will surely be looking for answers.

Details of Haller’s contract were not available. Beekman signed a five-year contract in 2018 that paid him $ 750,000 per year, although that amount will drop to $ 375,000 in the new role he will take on in the president’s office.

Michigan State President Samuel Stanley released a statement Tuesday.

“Many of us are anxiously awaiting the start of the Spartan football season this Friday at Northwestern as well as many other fall sports,” the statement said. “There’s a change at the top this fall as well, as Bill Beekman, vice president and varsity athlete, will assume the new role of vice president for strategic initiatives. I am grateful for Bill’s work in stabilizing and advancing our sports department over the past three plus years, and look forward to working with him in this new role. We have secured a national cabinet to lead the search for a new athletic director and plan to make an announcement soon. “

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