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Whitewater AD Plinske UW-Milwaukee finalist

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Gazette Staff
December 15, 2010

UW-Whitewater's Paul Plinske is one of three finalists for the vacant UW-Milwaukee athletics director position.


Plinske was scheduled to interview with UW-Milwaukee officials Tuesday night and today, and he planned to fly to meet the Warhawk football team in Salem, Va., tonight.


Plinske said the opportunity to move to the NCAA Division I UW-Milwaukee program is a tribute to UW-Whitewater.


"We have phenomenal coaches, staff and student-athletes," Plinske said. "They have given me this opportunity for personal and professional growth."


The Minneapolis native earned his doctorate in sports administration from the University of Minnesota. He has a master's degree in kinesiology from the University of Illinois.


He said that experience would help him make the transition from Division III to Division I.


"(And) UW-Whitewater is as close to a Division I institution that you'll find in the country," Plinske said. "The only difference is we don't offer scholarships."


Plinske has been director of athletics at Whitewater for six years. At Whitewater, Plinske oversees 45 staff members and coaches, 700 student-athletes and manages an annual operating budget of approximately $2.8 million.


He holds a doctorate in kinesiology /sports administration from Minnesota.


Plinske directs the athletic department's capital campaign projects and helps in the planning and development of facility construction and improvement projects.


During his tenure, Plinske has helped raise more than $5 million in private donations and corporate sponsorship support. He directed the $8.04 million outdoor sports complex renovation, which included a new outdoor track and field facility combined with a new soccer field, renovations to the football stadium, upgrades to the baseball stadium and a new diamond and supporting areas for the softball team.


Prior to Whitewater, Plinske was the associate athletics director and graduate sports administration program director at UW-La Crosse from 1999-2004, where he assisted the director of athletics in daily operations of a 20-sport athletics program.


The other two finalists are:


Grace Calhoun, who is the associate athletic director at Indiana University. She earned a doctorate in higher education administration from Florida.


Rick Costello, who is the deputy athletics director at Rutgers. He has a master's degree in business administration from Lehigh.


Former UWM athletic director George Koonce resigned in June after he was placed on administrative leave in April.


Plinske said he was told UW-Milwaukee plans to make a decision just before or after Christmas.



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