Hometown Report: Four suggested candidates for Sac State AD job

05/26/2014 7:27 PM

05/26/2014 7:36 PM

Within weeks, Sacramento State will have an athletic director opening as Terry Wanless bows into retirement.

His replacement will be the program’s most significant hire, one that could help vault the sleeping-giant Hornets into an era of prominence. The new AD’s first task will be finding a new football coach to navigate through a Big Sky Conference ripe for the taking. Here are four candidates worthy of a call as the next AD:

•  Mark Massari : The athletic director at UC Santa Barbara since 2008, Massari is a Sac State graduate who played on the school’s last playoff football team, in 1988. The Gauchos have enjoyed athletic success across the board under Massari, though the school hasn’t fielded football since 1992. Massari was the senior associate AD for external affairs at Oregon State, a run that included six bowl games. Massari secured the Kings’ training camp last fall on his campus.
•  Mark Orr : A Christian Brothers High School graduate who played football at Cal on scholarship, Orr has been the AD at Saint Mary’s since 2006. He was paramount to athletic facility upgrades. Though the Gales dropped football in 2004, men’s basketball has had national success, including reaching the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 in 2010.
•  John Volek : A Placer graduate, Volek used energy, compassion and sheer will to make Sac State’s football program prominent after it nearly folded. He coached the Hornets to their last conference title, in 1995. An expert people person, Volek elevated Sierra College into a national program as AD, earning myriad honors before retiring in 2011.
•  Greg Warzecka : The athletic director at American River College, Warzecka served as the AD at UC Davis from 1995 to 2011, supervising the transition from Division II to Division I. ARC has emerged as the regional power in football under Warzecka, who once coached baseball at San Francisco State.

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