Forest Karr Hired as New NMU Athletic Director

Forrest Karr was named the Northern Michigan University
director of athletics, recreational sports and the United States Olympic
Education Center/special assistant to the president today in an
announcement made by NMU President David Haynes. He officially begins his
new position Monday, June 11.

Karr is currently the director of athletics at the University of Alaska
Fairbanks. He was one of three finalists considered for the Wildcat
athletic director position.

“I’m grateful to my friends, co-workers, and the many Nanook supporters
who have made the last eight years in Fairbanks so memorable. I have
always considered it a privilege to work for the University of Alaska
Fairbanks. While Alaska is a remarkable place, and it’s difficult to leave
people I love working with, moving on to a new position and another great
community closer to family is very exciting. I am fully committed to
ensuring a quality experience in every way for Northern Michigan
University students. And, I look forward to working with the department’s
dedicated and talented staff to make this happen,” said Karr.

Karr has been the UAF director of athletics since 2005, during which time
the Nanooks have won three team and three individual NCAA titles. Also
during his tenure, the department set an NCAA attendance record while
hosting the 2007 NCAA Rifle Championships, the Nanook hockey team
participated in the 2010 NCAA Division I Tournament for the first time and
the Nanook women’s cross country team competed in the 2011 NCAA DII
championships for the first time.

UAF is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Central
Collegiate Ski Association, Pacific Collegiate Swimming and Diving
Conference and Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

“Forrest Karr is a great fit to be NMU’s athletic director,” said Haynes.
“He comes into the position with outstanding leadership and management
skills. He understands both NCAA Division I hockey and Division II
intercollegiate programs, having been involved with both as a collegian
and an administrator. He’s been innovative and successful at UAF and has
more than enough motivation and creativity to take Wildcat athletics to
the next level of success. Forrest received tremendous support from all of
the NMU groups that interacted with him during the interview process.”

While leading the Nanooks program, Karr helped the school add a women’s
swimming program, establish a hall of fame, undergo several facilities
renovation and construction projects, and develop an academic minor in
sports management. He was UAF’s assistant athletic director for
compliance prior to becoming AD. From 2008-10, he chaired the NCAA Ice
Hockey Rules Committee and previously clerked in the NCAA General
Counsel’s Office.

Karr also chaired the statewide Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Alaska in 2009 where he led the agency through the process of
hiring a CEO. He has served as a member of the National Ski Patrol for six
years and co-chaired the 2010 United Way of the Tanana Valley’s
fundraising campaign.

Karr played Division I hockey and was an Academic All-American while
attending the University of Notre Dame. He earned the team’s most
valuable player honor as a senior. He graduated from UND with a
bachelor’s in business administration and completed a law degree at the
University of Wisconsin. He is also a graduate of the Sports Management
Institute’s executive certificate program.

“With the hiring of Forrest, on top of a very strong group of both
experienced and new coaches, a capable and energetic staff, and supportive
Board of Trustees, Northern is poised to take its athletic program to
another level,” said Rick Popp, member of the NMU Board of Trustees, a
former Wildcat football player and an honorary member of the AD search
committee. “The search process included more than 100 candidates, with
several who could potentially perform the job. The board commends those
involved in the search process and recognizes President Haynes for
stepping into his new role and immediately ensuring that Forrest Karr was
supported by all key constituents as the best fit for NMU. This is
certainly a great day to be a Wildcat.”