Four finalists to be the next director of athletics at Missouri Western State University will visit campus beginning July 17. All four of the candidates are currently athletic directors at other NCAA Division II universities.

“We have an amazing pool of candidates to choose from, reflecting the current strength and future potential of our Department of Athletics,” said Dr. Jeanne Daffron, provost and vice president for academic affairs and chair of the search committee. “The committee is excited to enter the next phase of the search process, and we believe others on campus and in the community will be as impressed as we have been by the quality of these individuals.”

The four candidates will spend the day meeting with a number of groups on campus, and each will give a public presentation on their vision for the future of Missouri Western athletics.

“I think that we have an exceptional list of candidates,” said Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western’s president. “In fact, I don’t know if I’ve ever had a more qualified and experienced group of candidates as finalists for a cabinet-level position like this. To have four successful sitting Division II athletic directors as finalists is pretty remarkable. I look forward to getting to know them better during the interview process.”

The finalists are:

  • Josh Looney, director of athletics at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania. Looney previously worked for the NCAA, the Kansas City Chiefs and the Orlando Magic. He will be on campus Monday, July 17, with a public presentation at 2 p.m. in the Hearnes Center, room 102.
  • David Miller, director of athletics at Upper Iowa University. Miller was previously athletic director at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, and has worked at Southern Methodist University, Ohio University, Truman State University and the U.S. Air Force Academy. He will be on campus Thursday, July 20, with a public presentation at 2 p.m. in the Hearnes Center, room 102.
  • Marty Bell, vice president for intercollegiate athletics/director of athletics and men’s basketball coach at Quincy University in Illinois. Bell was previously an assistant basketball coach at Drake University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Lock Haven University and a graduate assistant at the University of South Carolina. He will be on campus Monday, July 24, with a public presentation at 1:30 p.m. in the Hearnes Center, room 102.
  • Todd Thurman, director of athletics at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Thurman was previously head men’s basketball coach at Southwestern and at Wayland Baptist University, and assistant coach at Southern Nazarene University, Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Central Oklahoma. He will be on campus Wednesday, July 26, with a public presentation at 2 p.m. in the Hearnes Center, room 102.

Missouri Western seeks to replace Kurt McGuffin, who left last month after five years at the helm to become director of athletics at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

Read more about the finalists here.

Missouri Western State University is a comprehensive regional university providing a blend of traditional liberal arts and professional degree programs. The university offers student-centered, high quality instruction that focuses on experience-based learning, community service, and state-of-the-art technology. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit