POCATELLO — Idaho State University has named Pauline Thiros as its interim athletic director. The move was announced Thursday in a university-issued press release.
Thiros replaces Jeff Tingey, who was removed from his post late last week after serving as ISU’s athletic director since 2009.
President Kevin Satterlee announced Thiros’ appointment Thursday to the Idaho State Athletic Department and campus community via email. Thiros will lead the day-to-day department operations while a national search is undertaken to permanently hire a new athletic director, according to ISU.
ISU officials said earlier this week that the interim athletic director will not be considered for the full-time position.
“I am excited to appoint Pauline as interim athletic director,” Satterlee said in the university-issued release. “Pauline has demonstrated a unique ability to lead effective operations and build successful relationships with the community and friends of ISU. Her passion for athletics is evident and will surely translate to a strong focus on the success of our student-athletes.”
Thiros, a Pocatello native, has spent the last 23 years working in various roles at ISU and is currently the school’s associate vice president for development. She said in the release that her main goal as interim athletic director is to make real and meaningful progress regarding challenges currently facing Idaho State athletics.
“I am committed to setting the stage for a new athletic director,” Thiros said in the university-issued release. “In the coming months, it’s my goal to ready our student-athletes, staff and coaches for success under a new athletic director’s leadership. Preparation is key, and we want to elevate our work and expectations. I believe our potential is great.”
In a phone interview Thursday with the Journal, Thiros said she will return to her job as ISU’s associate vice president for development following the conclusion of the university’s national search and subsequent hiring of a permanent athletic director. She said Satterlee was “very thorough” in his assessment of the university’s staff and interim candidates.
“He assembled a small, close-knit team and started to vet names of people who know the athletic department and are passionate about it,” Thiros told the Journal.
Along with evaluating ISU’s athletic programs, assessing the needs and challenges of each team, coach and student-athlete, Thiros said she plans to include the school’s alumni and donor base in gauging the future of ISU athletics.
“It’s going to be really important to reach out to the boosters and alumni and constituents who we know are really passionate about ISU athletics, and listen to them and engage them in our path forward,” Thiros said.
Thiros has previously been ISU’s director of planned giving, director of alumni relations, and assistant volleyball coach and recruiting coordinator. Thiros successfully directed ISU’s first capital campaign, which kicked off in 2001. The campaign raised more than $152 million and resulted in the construction of the Stephens Performing Arts Center.
Thiros came to ISU in 1990 as a walk-on volleyball player, and her teammates voted her captain for four straight years. She earned Big Sky Conference all-academic honors in her junior and senior seasons and was named the Big Sky Conference Scholar Athlete of the year in 1994. She was inducted into the ISU Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Thiros holds a bachelor’s degree in health care administration and a master’s degree in athletic administration, both from ISU.
She was also the head coach of the Century High School varsity volleyball team for eight seasons, during which time her teams won six consecutive 4A state championships. Thiros stepped down as Century’s volleyball coach following the 2016 season.
ISU’s national search for a permanent athletic director will commence in the next 30 days with the announcement of a search committee and community listening session. ISU said the hiring process is expected to take four to six months.
Thiros told the Journal it is unknown at this time what role, if any, she will play in the search-and-hire process.
“That’s still evolving,” Thiros said. “My focus is really going to be on what’s happening right now in athletics. Until I learn otherwise, the search is in the president’s hands.”
“Our coaches, teams and student-athletes are in good hands with Pauline while we conduct a national search for ISU’s athletic director,” Satterlee said in the release. “I would also like to extend an invitation for the community to meet Pauline at our first football game of the year.”
ISU opens its football season Friday against Western State Colorado at Holt Arena. Kickoff is at 6:35 p.m., and fans are encouraged to wear white. The community is also invited to Reed Gym on Friday and Saturday as the Bengals host the Idaho State Invitational volleyball tournament. ISU women’s soccer host Utah State at Davis Field on Sept. 8 at 1 p.m.