By Jonathan Ghattas, Staff Reporter
The final four candidates for CSUDH athletic director, vacant since early last semester, were interviewed over Feb. 22-25, and a decision is expected to be announced later this month.
The finalists for the position are current associate athletics director of California State University, Fullerton, Greg Paules, current associate director of athletics at Hampton University in Virginia, Dr. Paula Jackson, deputy director of athletics at the University of New Orleans, Dena Freeman-Patton, and Colin Preston, the current director of athletics at nearby El Camino College.
The first candidate to be interviewed was Paules, followed by Jackson, Freeman-Patton, and Preston.
Paules, a graduate of the University of California, Irvine has been at his position at Fullerton for over seven years as part of the school’s athletics department. During his tenure with the department as associate athletic director, Paules has raised large sums of money for the Titans while overseeing multiple athletic teams.
Jackson, who earned her doctorate from Northcentral University in Phoenix, Arizona, has been the senior woman administrator for Hampton University the past six years and continues to oversee the day-to-day activities of the department. Her career in the sports administration field spans over 15 years, including positions with the Atlanta Falcons as part of the public relations team.
Freeman-Patton is a graduate from Liberty University, and received her master’s in sports administration from Georgia State University. Fresh into her current position at the University of New Orleans, Freeman-Patton previously held the same position at California State University, Bakersfield for four years before moving back to The Big Easy.
Lastly, local athletic director Preston graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned his master’s in sports management from the University of San Francisco. The athletic director of El Camino College for the last four years, Preston previously served as the director of sports for the Academy of Art in San Francisco.
A decision on the hiring is expected to be announced in a few weeks. The athletics program has been without an athletic director since Jeff Falkner, who was hired in 2015, was released early in the fall semester 2020. Before Falkner’s hiring, the athletics program had been without a permanent director for two years.