The University of Maine has narrowed its search for a new athletic director to three finalists and expects to make a hire by the end of the month.

The finalists are Scott Kull, former deputy athletic director for external operations at the University of Utah; Jude Killy, deputy director of athletics and chief of staff at Miami University of Ohio; and Renae Myles Payne, former associate athletic director and chief diversity officer at the University of Miami in Florida.

University President Joan Ferrini-Mundy will make a hire later this month, after the three finalists have visited campus. UMaine spokesperson Margaret Nagle said the school will not comment on the search until after the new athletic director is announced.

A fourth finalist, Brian Gerrity, withdrew his name from consideration. A Maine native and graduate of Maranacook Community High School, Gerrity is deputy athletic director and executive director of the Mercer Athletic Foundation at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. Gerrity said while he enjoyed his interview with the search committee, he felt staying at Mercer was the right decision.

The new athletic director will replace Ken Ralph, who left Maine when his contract expired in late summer to take the same position at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas. When hired at Maine in 2018, Ralph signed a four-year contract with an annual salary of $214,000.

Samantha Hegmann-Wary is serving as Maine’s interim athletic director. Hegmann-Wary is Maine’s associate athletic director for compliance and the senior woman administrator.


Whoever is hired will take over a job in which fundraising in paramount. In 2020, the university was awarded a $90 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation to use toward athletic facilities upgrades. UMaine is in the process of raising an additional $20 million for the project, which began with the construction of a new softball diamond this year. In October, alums Phillip and Susan Morse donated $10 million toward construction of a new basketball arena.

As of late Friday afternoon, none of the three finalists had responded to Press Herald requests for an interview.

Kull left the University of Utah in August, according to his Facebook profile. Kull was a finalist for the Maine job in 2013, when he was an associate athletic director at Texas Christian University. That time, the job went to Karlton Creech, who served at the Black Bears’ AD until moving on to the University of Denver in 2018. Kull has experience working in numerous NCAA Division I athletic departments, including stints at South Florida, Texas Christian, Florida State, Ohio State, Georgia Tech and Florida. Kull is a graduate of Otterbein College and Stevens High of Claremont, New Hampshire.

Myles Payne left the University of Miami in July, according to her LinkedIn profile. A graduate of Southern Mississippi, where she was a member of the track and field team, Myles Payne earned a master’s degree in education from Northwestern State and a doctorate in education from the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked in college athletic administration at numerous schools, including Winthrop University, Alabama A&M, Southwest Baptist University and Delaware State.

Killy is a graduate of John Carroll University, where he played soccer for two seasons. He holds a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University. Killy has worked at Miami of Ohio since 2008. He manages the day-to-day operations of the athletic department, including overseeing a budget of $32 million and negotiating contracts. By comparison, the UMaine athletic department has a budget of approximately $19 million.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.