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The Bulldogs enter the stadium before the game against Mercer at Johnson Hagood Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Michael Pronzato/ Staff

From a pool of more than 100 candidates, The Citadel has narrowed its search for a new athletic director to a field of 12.

Those 12 candidates will meet with The Citadel's search committee for interviews Aug. 7 and 8 in Atlanta, at the headquarters of Parker Executive Search in Atlanta.

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Committee members have been poring over the resumes of the candidates for a week, and took about three hours in executive session Wednesday to hone in on a field of 12 semifinalists.

"We're genuinely excited about the 12 candidates that we will invite for semifinal interviews," said committee chairman Dan Bornstein, a Citadel professor in the department of health, exercise and sport science.

After the interviews, the committee will present at least three finalists to incoming president Gen. Glenn Walters, with the goal of having a new AD in place by the start of football season. The Bulldogs open the season Sept. 1 at Wofford.

"The challenge is, we truly have an unbelievable candidate pool in front of us," Bornstein said. "It will be very difficult to narrow the field, because we have an extraordinary field, and an extraordinarily diverse field in all aspects."

Daniel Parker of Parker Executive Search told the committee that the field of 100 interested applicants was unusually large.

"Typically, we have 60 to 70 candidates," he said. "On this search, we've had more than 100 who went through the process of submitting a letter of interest and a resume, providing references and completing a questionnaire.

"We have sitting athletic directors from Divisions I, II and III, deputy ADs, senior associates, senior women's administrators, with ethnic and gender diversity. They come from backgrounds in compliance, fund-raising and coaching."

Parker also said there were candidates from all the "Power 5" conferences (the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac 12).

The Citadel is searching for a replacement for Jim Senter, who left The Citadel last November to become AD at UTEP.

• Robert Acunto, who was serving as The Citadel's interim AD, has left to join Senter at UTEP, where Acunto will be associate AD for development. Mike Capaccio, vice president for development with The Citadel Foundation, is currently serving as interim AD.

• The Citadel football team opens pre-season practice at 8:30 a.m. Friday. The "Meet the Bulldogs" event is set for Aug. 25 from 10 a.m. to noon at Johnson Hagood Stadium.

Reach Jeff Hartsell at 843-937-5596. Follow on Twitter @Jeff_fromthePC