CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University is looking for a new athletic director as Ken Beazer recently resigned, while SUU president Scott L. Wyatt will head up the Big Sky Conference’s President’s Committee for the next year.
Beazer, who spent 10 years as the AD for the Thunderbirds, will stay with SUU until a replacement is named. A national search is underway. The former Snow College AD gave no reason for his departure.
“I’m proud of what we have been able to accomplish over my time at SUU and I look forward to pursuing the other opportunities that lie ahead for my family and me.” he said.
His accomplishments during his tenure include propelling Thunderbird athletics into the Big Sky Conference and rallying Thunderbird Athletics to its first football playoff appearance in 2013. He will continue as President of the FSC Athletic Director’s Association.
Beazer’s work with SUU’s student athletes has been paramount, as was his focus on developing the University’s coaching staff and community partnerships.
“I truly believe we have the greatest core of coaches anywhere. All of them exhibit high character, professionalism, passion and a genuine interest in the overall development of our student-athletes,” Beazer said.
Beazer racked up 18 conference championships. A career highlight was assisting in the development of a strong gymnastics team, which beat top-seeded UCLA in front of a sold-out local crowd in the Centrum Arena in 2011.
Wyatt said Beazer’s efforts over the past decade are appreciated.
“Ken’s devotion to athletics and his extremely hard work ethic will be difficult to match and we are excited to see where his next adventure takes him,” he said. “His lasting legacy will be seen and felt for a long time to come.”
Wyatt, meanwhile, will act as “President Chair” in the Big Sky for the next year, beginning with the conference meetings taking place this week. Wyatt will serve alongside Mary Culling of Eastern Washington University, the 2015-16 vice chair.
The Big Sky Conference is governed by the Presidents’ Council for each of the 12 full member institutions, including Weber State, Northern Arizona, Idaho State and Montana. The president chair will also run the president’s meetings held annually in June and October.
Of his own perspective as president of a Big Sky institution, Wyatt said he’s interested in the role of student-athletes as students first.
“While our student athletes’ success on the field is certainly of great interest to all Big Sky member institution, we are unabashedly committed to first ensuring their success in the classroom,” he said. “They are students first, and our goal is to insure that everything we do enhances their education and preparation for life and careers.”
SUU joined the Big Sky in 2012, along with North Dakota. Since joining the Big Sky, Southern Utah has accrued two conference championships, both in 2014-15 in women’s basketball and softball. SUU also saw its first football playoff appearance in school history in 2013.
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