Hinrichs was associate AD at Kansas

DENVER -- Northern Colorado filled its athletic director vacancy Monday by hiring Jay Hinrichs, an associate athletic director at Kansas.

"It's a very exciting challenge," Hinrichs told a booster
group at Coors Field. "Taking a school from Division II to
Division I is a great opportunity."

The hiring of Hinrichs, who was director of facilities planning
at Kansas, is effective Aug. 30. No terms of the contract were

Before coming to Kansas, Hinrichs served as assistant general
manager of the Kansas City Royals and later as the team's vice
president for ballpark operations and development.

He replaces Jim Fallis, who stepped down on May 1 to assume a
similar position at Northern Arizona.

"I think we can make a lot of impact if we do things slowly and
do things the right way and try to make an immediate impact for UNC
athletics," Hinrichs said.

Hinrichs, 46, was selected from more than 80 candidates by a
16-member selection committee headed by Ken McConnellogue.

"We have real fine people in our department and we need someone
who is going to help our people believe in themselves and who is
going to elevate the entire program," McConnellogue said. "We are
on the cusp and I think his leadership potential is going to get us
over the hump."

One of Hinrichs' early orders of business is to look into the
possibility of joining the Big Sky Conference. UNC became an
original member of the football-only Great West Football Conference
on Feb. 25, but the Big Sky has expressed interest in considering
UNC in its next expansion.

"Any information regarding a conference as we move forward
needs to be digested quickly because we have to be pro active in
the process," Hinrichs said. "Remember, there are a lot of
schools looking for conferences at this point in time."