It took a while to get there, though not as long as they’d initially said it would, but the University of Alaska Fairbanks has found their next Athletic Director.
Brock Anundson, who currently serves as the assistant director of athletics for internal operations and events at Black Hills State University in South Dakota, has been named the new Director of Athletics at UAF. He’ll begin his tenure with the Nanooks July 12th.
“I want to thank the search committee for their efforts and the staff, faculty, students and community members who provided feedback on each of the candidates throughout the hiring process,” said UAF Chancellor Dan White. “I heard from many in the UAF and Fairbanks communities that Brock was the right leader for UAF’s athletics moving forward. Brock has the experience and vision to lead our programs and to reignite the passion in the Fairbanks and UAF communities for your Alaska Nanooks.”
Anundson was selected from a pool of four finalists that met with the school last week. Prior to his stint with BHSU, he served as the program coordinator for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and worked for four seasons in stadium operations for the Denver Broncos at Mile High Stadium.
Anundson is also a former athlete himself, having played in one of Alaska’s favorite pastimes. He played four seasons with the University of Minnesota Crookston, where he still holds the record for career scoring. He signed with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL for the 2005-2006 season before beginning his professional career in athletics administration. He has a bachelor’s degree in sport and recreation management from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from the University of Colorado, and a doctorate in education leadership and innovation from Arizona State University.
“I want to thank Chancellor White, the head of the search committee, coaches, administrators, donors, the Fairbanks community and, of course, the student-athletes for the opportunity,” Anundson said. “I am incredibly excited and honored to join the University of Alaska Fairbanks family and humbled to serve as the next director of athletics. Nanook athletics has a rich history and tradition and I look forward to the success that lies ahead.”
In an introductory press conference Wednesday afternoon, Anundson stated he was excited to be a part of the Fairbanks community, noting the family like atmosphere he felt when he visited with his family last week.
“The people and the culture really drew me in,” he said. “Of course the landscape and resources are unbelievable. You can’t compare them to anywhere else on Earth and there’s so much opportunity ahead of us.”
White said in the same press conference that Anundson may begin his term as AD prior to July 12th depending on other factors. He noted Anundson’s desire to be a part of the Fairbanks community as one of the key factors in hiring him.
“We wanted someone who understood the Fairbanks community and understood UAF and had a vision,” White said. “We’re very excited to have Brock Anundson as our new Athletic Director.”
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/hpisani91.