The Citadel begins its search for a new AD

Larry Leckonby was hired as Citadel athletic director in 2008.(Brad Nettles/Staff)

The Citadel will form a search committee to find a replacement for departed athletic director Larry Leckonby, and the committee is likely to have no shortage of candidates.

Clemson associate athletic director Bill D'Andrea, slated to retire at Clemson on May 30, has made known his interest in the job through various media outlets. Geoff Von Dollen, The Citadel's associate athletic director for business and operations, has been Leckonby's right-hand man for five years; sources say he's already met with school president Lt. Gen. John Rosa to express his interest in the job.

Robby Robinson, the former voice of the Bulldogs and now senior associate AD for external affairs at Virginia Commonwealth, might have interest. John Hartwell, a former Citadel basketball player and now the AD at Troy University, certainly has the credentials. And then there's Citadel baseball coach Fred Jordan, now wrapping up his 23rd season with the Bulldogs. Would he be interested in following the pattern set by former South Carolina baseball coach Ray Tanner, who moved over to the AD's office?

The vacancy was created Tuesday, when Leckonby was named the new AD at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C. He had been the Bulldogs' AD since July of 2008.

"Larry's breadth of experience is impressive, but it is his passion for athletes as students that made him such a desirable candidate for us," Catawba College president Brien Lewis said in a statement.

"He believes in Catawba's mission of preparing the whole student as a formidable competitor on the court or field and as an engaged mind in the classroom. We certainly look forward to putting his many and varied talents and perspectives to work for Catawba."

Catawba is an NCAA Division II school of about 1,300 students that plays in the South Atlantic Conference along with South Carolina schools such as Newberry, Coker and Anderson.

"So much of my career has been spent in an administrative role at Division I schools, where the athletics budgets are large, but where the opportunity to engage on an individual level with students is small," Leckonby said in a statement. "I look forward to one-on-one engagement with Catawba's coaching staff, its student-athletes and with all of those who support the athletics program."

Leckonby, whose current contract at The Citadel expires next year, was just the fourth Citadel AD of the modern era, following Eddie Teague, Walt Nadzak and Les Robinson.

Leckonby's two major coaching hires at The Citadel were football coach Mike Houston, whose first season is this fall, and basketball coach Chuck Driesell, who has a four-year record of 31-94 with one year left on his contract.

Rosa has not named an interim AD, a school official said Tuesday.

"Larry has done an excellent job as our athletic director and has put our athletic programs on solid financial footing over the past six years," Rosa said. "He has been an integral part of our senior team and I am grateful for his leadership of this very important segment of Citadel life."