Missouri Western names three finalists for athletic director position | University

Three finalists will be interviewed on the Missouri Western campus next week for the position of college athletic director.

Missouri Western announced the three finalists Friday in a press release: Franklin Pierce (NH) athletic director Rachel Burleson; Dwight Merilatt, executive assistant athletic director for the State of Illinois; and South Dakota Mines athletic director Joel Lueken.

Burleson has been with Division II Franklin Pierce since 2017. She previously worked at other MIAA institutions as Missouri Southern Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Internal Operations and Assistant State Softball Coach. Northwestern Missouri. Burleson received his Masters of Sports Administration from Northwest.

She has also served as Assistant Director of Athletics at other Division II schools. She worked in external and game day operations at Western Colorado, as well as game day and internal operations at the Oklahoma Panhandle State.

Burleson received a Bachelor of Exercise and Athletic Science from Tarleton State University and an MBA from Franklin Pierce.

Merilatt has worked for the State of Illinois since 2015. Previously, Merilatt worked in Evansville from 2007 to 2015 as Assistant Sports Director for External Affairs, then Senior Assistant Sports Director for External Affairs, in the role acting director of sports in the summer of 2014.

Prior to coming to Evansville, Merilatt spent six years in Eastern Kentucky as an assistant sports director for marketing and corporate partnerships and director of development. He also spent time as director of sports development and executive director of West Chester. He was also general manager of the Tampa Bay FireStix, a professional women’s softball team.

Merilatt received her BA in Sports Management from the University of Kentucky and her Masters in Sports Administration from Eastern Kentucky.

Lueken has been with South Dakota Mines since April 2014. Lueken previously joined William Jewell in 2006 as a sporting events manager and assistant baseball coach. In 2009, Joel was appointed Assistant Sporting Director and promoted again in 2012 to Associate Sporting Director. Lueken spent six years at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls, Iowa, in various capacities. He received an Associate’s Degree from Ellsworth Community College, a BA from the University of Ottawa and an MA from Northwest.

Interviews will take place in order from noon to 1:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at the Fulkerson Center. No reservations are required to participate in community forums.


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Joseph D. Whitman

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