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DePaul narrows its search for Jean Lenti Ponsetto’s replacement as athletic director

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 8/11/2020 By Teddy Greenstein, Chicago Tribune
a man wearing sunglasses: DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto attends a men's basketball game against Providence at Wintrust Arena on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020. © John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS DePaul athletic director Jean Lenti Ponsetto attends a men's basketball game against Providence at Wintrust Arena on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020.

DePaul has narrowed its search for a new athletic director, and sources say the leading candidates are DeWayne Peevy, the deputy athletic director at Kentucky, and Northwestern’s Mike Polisky.

While one insider believes Peevy will be offered the job, another source said no decision has been made.

Peevy has no clear Chicago ties but is well respected in the industry and plays a key role with Kentucky basketball, working alongside coach John Calipari.

The Birmingham, Ala., native joined Kentucky in 2008 and focuses on strategic planning, fundraising and public relations initiatives. His background is in media relations and he spent eight years at the Southeastern Conference handling the day-to-day publicity of men’s basketball.

The Birmingham News recently lauded him as one of the SEC’s “behind-the-scenes power players” and predicted he’d soon become an athletic director.

Polisky is also poised to become a Power 5 commissioner, possessing all the experience and traits (such as tireless work ethic, sales experience, relationship building, a passion for sports) that the job requires.

Polisky’s Chicago ties are substantial: He served as president of the Arena Football League’s Chicago Rush, ran business operations for the Wolves and has been marketing Northwestern as “Chicago’s Big Ten team” since becoming Jim Phillips’ right-hand man.

Whoever gets the job will replace Jean Lenti Ponsetto, who announced her retirement June 5.

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