Last Modified: Wednesday, August 07, 2013 5:45 PM
The initial finalist for McNeese State’s athletic director position will visit campus Thursday, the school confirmed on Wednesday.
Bruce Hemphill of Sulphur will meet with “various constituent groups” throughout the day, said McNeese director of public relations Candace Townsend.
Townsend emphasized that the search process is ongoing and that the 57-year-old Hemphill has been identified as the leading candidate from the initial batch of applicants following Tommy McClelland’s departure for Louisiana Tech on July 16.
“The most important thing is the (search) process has not ended,” Townsend said. “We are not introducing a new athletic director.”
The school said President Dr. Philip Williams’ plan is to bring several finalists to campus as part of an open-search process similar to the one used when he was hired in 2010.
“In the morning (Hemphill) will meet with Dr. Williams’ senior staff, then interview with search committee,” Townsend said. “After that he will be meeting with students and student-athletes, coaches, senior administrative staff, and then tomorrow afternoon a meeting with booster club representatives.”
Townsend said participants at the meetings will be provided with comment cards for feedback.
Hemphill is a Sulphur native with two decades of experience in major Division I athletic programs, though all prior to 2003.
After playing football at LSU, Hemphill served on the Tigers’ coaching staff from 1977-83, and at Louisiana Tech from 1985-87. After stints as a recruiting coordinator at North Carolina State and South Carolina, Hemphill served as an assistant to the athletic director at North Carolina from 1990-99, then as an assistant AD at Wyoming from 1999-2003.
Hemphill was athletic director at Fuquay-Varina (N.C.) High School from 2003-12. He retired from that position and returned to Sulphur last year.