SPOKANE, Wash. — The University of Idaho announced its new athletic director on August 7 after a nearly year long search.
Terry Gawlik was hired after spending the last 25 years working for the University of Wisconsin in many roles. She was most recently senior associate athletic director.
Her new job at Idaho will come with challenges.
The school has had Title IX issues in recent years with mishandled student-athlete sexual assault allegations and not meeting Title IX compliance standards. Gawlik will also be looking for a new men's basketball head coach.
Here's the transcript of the interview.
Question: You're the first female athletic director ever at the University of Idaho. How does that feel?
Gawlik: It's like the top of my career goal to be here. This is the pinnacle experience and I wanted to come to a program that had football. Obviously Idaho does and had the academic footprint behind it. It really truly was about the institution and the minute we stepped on campus and met the people they were so genuine and friendly. It's just fun to be around and we knew it was a place we want to make our home.
Q: For 25 years you spent time as the University of Wisconsin in a variety of roles. One of them was senior associate athletic director. One of your major responsibilities was Title IX compliance. Idaho in recent years has had issues with sexual assault violence allegations against student-athletes and also not meeting compliance standards for Title IX. What do you do with your past experience that you feel like you can approve upon and make sure stuff like this does not happen?
Gawlik: Well I want to get there, get in the weeds and see what kind of policies we have, look at some of the areas that may be points we need to improve efficiency on. I'll be taking a look at all of those things.
Q: How important is it to coaches, people within the program to make sure they're doing everything to follow procedures correctly?
Gawlik: It's very important. Communication and education is really, really important. I was lucky enough to meet almost all of the coaches this week when we've been there. So I look forward to working alongside them and helping them accomplish what they want to do with integrity in mind and compliance at the forefront.
Q: One of the things that came when Idaho didn't meet the Title IX compliance standards was that there were 56 recommendations made to the university, which came to $2.5 million the university would need to make these improvements. Has the university already asked for this money from the state or what's the procedure right now?
Gawlik: Not to my knowledge and I haven't even read through that report yet. I have it in my backpack, so I'll read it on the plane ride home.
Q: One of the big things facing Idaho basketball now is hiring a new men's basketball coach. Don Verlin was let go after this past season for NCAA violations. What do you look for when you're looking for your next basketball coach?
Gawlik: Well we want the right person in that position. We want to make sure we are following the rules in every sport, not just basketball. I know that Zac (Claus) has stepped up and done a good job in that role and hopefully he continues to do that. We will be monitoring the situation and hopefully move things along as quickly as possible.
Q: Football season is getting ready to begin. What's your excitement around the program going into next season?
Gawlik: The thing I was most impressed with when we got there for warm-ups was the energy and enthusiasm. Everything was just go, go, go and really organized and fun to watch. Everyone was vocal and supporting each other. I can;t wait to watch the first football game. I'm contemplating going out to Penn State. Nothing would please me more than going back and beating a Big 10 school.
Q: As the athletic director now, what are you most excited for moving forward with Idaho athletics?
Gawlik: Just getting back here. I won't be getting back until late August or early September. I'm ready to get started and ready to meet even more people. I'm ready to engage with campus, student-athletes and coaches. I'm looking forward to it all.