EUGENE, Ore. -- The University of Oregon has turned to
prominent booster Pat Kilkenny to serve as athletic director for
the next two years. One of his priorities will be getting a new
basketball arena back on track.
Kilkenny replaces Bill Moos, who in November announced plans to
step down next month.
Kilkenny is chairman emeritus of San Diego-based Arrowhead
General Insurance Agency Inc., which he acquired in 1984 and sold
An Oregon native who is close to Ducks booster and Nike
co-founder Phil Knight, Kilkenny attended the University of Oregon.
University President David Frohnmayer said Kilkenny has agreed
to return any salary to the school for "academic and athletic
purposes." Kilkenny's formal contract is not yet final.
"I love Eugene. I love the University of Oregon," he said. "I
don't think there's any doubt that my intentions are the best they
can be. I want to leave this place in a lot better stead than the
day I arrived."
He has been spearheading Oregon's plans to replace venerable
McArthur Court, and contributed $1.5 million to finance the design
of a new basketball arena.
"I have the utmost confidence in Pat's ability to execute the
aggressive agenda I have laid out for him," Frohnmayer said. "He
is charged with solidifying the leadership within the athletic
department, moving the operation from being financially
self-sufficient to self-sustaining, strengthening the connection
with the academic mission of the university, expanding the donor
base, and reviving the new basketball arena project."
The plans for the 12-500-seat arena, which was at first expected
to be completed by 2009, were derailed last year. McArthur Court
has been the hallowed but crumbling home to the Ducks since 1927.
"Quite frankly, there's still a fundraising process that needs
to be done," he said about jump-starting the project.
Frohnmayer said Kilkenny's name first came up after the start of
the new year. They shook hands on the appointment Tuesday evening.
"He was drafted," Frohnmayer said. "He did not apply for the
Kilkenny was also among donors to help finance the nearly $2
million settlement package for Moos, who made $450,000 a year.
Kilkenny said the settlement was for a job well done, and never
imagined his name would eventually arise in connection with the
Moos had been athletic director since 1995, and guided the
expansion of Autzen Stadium and the construction of the
department's Moshofsky Center for football players. During his
tenure, Oregon's athletic department budget rose from $18 million
to $40 million, and added two women's sports.
"Hopefully with a little wind at our back we can perpetuate
it," Kilkenny said of Moos' legacy.
There was speculation that Ducks football coach Mike Bellotti
would be offered the job, but in January Frohnmayer announced that
he and Bellotti agreed that the football coach and athletic
director should be separate people "because it really is two
"What a great choice for our department and for the
university," Bellotti said of Kilkenny's appointment. "Pat
possesses the leadership skills, decision-making ability and
communications skills, as well as proven business acumen, to ensure
the continued success of Oregon athletics. He is a great Duck and
understands what it takes to compete successfully in Division I
Kilkenny has also served on the University of Oregon Athletic
Department Advisory Board and on the Board of Trustees for the
University of Oregon Foundation.
An eight-member search team sought a new director.