Eastern Michigan hires Scott Wetherbee as new AD

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) Eastern Michigan has hired Scott Wetherbee as its new athletic director.

The school announced the move Tuesday. Wetherbee has been a deputy athletic director at Mississippi State. His official start date has not been announced by EMU.

''This is a great opportunity to join a university with a rich history of success and a deep commitment to intercollegiate athletics,'' Wetherbee said in a statement. ''It is clear that the priority at Eastern Michigan is the academic success of all students and we plan to continue to achieve that among student athletes, while also providing a positive and winning environment for success in their sports.''

The 42-year-old Wetherbee is a native of Kalamazoo. He has spent 17 years on senior or executive staffs at four athletic departments, including Mississippi State, East Carolina, San Diego State and Fresno State.

''His enthusiasm for this position, his roots in Michigan, and his background and experience are ideally suited to continue to move Eastern Michigan athletics forward,'' EMU President James M. Smith said.

Heather Lyke, Eastern Michigan's previous AD, left to take the same position at Pittsburgh in March. Christian Spears and Erin Kido have each served as interim athletic director.

Eastern Michigan won five Mid-American Conference titles in 2016-17, and the football team played in a bowl for the first time since 1987. The improvement in football came after a student and faculty report had raised concerns about athletic spending and called on the school to consider dropping football - or perhaps stop playing it at the Division I level. EMU responded with an open letter saying it had no plans to drop football or leave the MAC.

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