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Bell   Costello   Darnell, Jr.   Hartzell

CARBONDALE -- Southern Illinois University will hold the first of four public forums with the finalists for the athletic director spot on Friday at Morris Library.

Tommy Bell, the athletic director at Western Illinois, will make an opening presentation and then take questions from the audience, according to a news release from SIU on Tuesday. Bell's forum is scheduled to run from 3-3:45 p.m. on Friday in the John C. Guyon Auditorium.

Former Northern Iowa athletic director Rick Hartzell is scheduled to be on campus on Monday from 3-3:45 p.m. at the SIU Student Center auditorium. Rick Darnell, the senior associate athletic director for development at the University of Illinois, will lead a forum on Thursday, April 23, from 3-3:45 p.m. at the same auditorium.

Leon Costello, the deputy director of athletics at South Dakota State since July 2014, is scheduled to be on campus on April 24. His public forum is scheduled to run 3-3:45 p.m. at the student center auditorium that day.

The athletic director search committee, which was appointed by SIU President Randy Dunn in January, reviewed 67 applicants. Doug Woolard, who has been serving as a special adviser to the athletic department, assisted the committee in identifying and recruiting candidates from a national pool and reviewing their information.

The four finalists were announced on April 2. They are vying to succeed Mario Moccia, who left to become the athletic director at New Mexico State, his alma mater.

618-351-5087 / On Twitter: @THefferman


Sports reporter

Todd Hefferman has covered SIU athletics since 2008. A University of Iowa grad, he is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and a Heisman Trophy voter.

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