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Get to know new NMU AD Forrest Karr

May 30, 2012 - Matt Wellens

Of the three athletic director finalists to visit Northern Michigan University, no one gave me more to write about than University of Alaska-Fairbanks AD Forrest Karr.

While the youngest of the three finalists — the other two being University of North Dakota Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Sean Johnson and David Diles, the director of athletics and chair of the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland — Karr had the most diverse background with experience working in sports law and marketing, as well as prior experience as a player and coach at the collegiate level.

Karr also had the most inside knowledge of NMU considering the Nanooks and Wildcats both compete in the CCHA for hockey and CCSA for skiing. The two schools have become even more familiar with each other now in the last year with college hockey realignment. Both the Wildcats and Nanooks will leave the CCHA in 2013 for the WCHA.

Those league affiliations allowed Karr to gain a perspective not available to Diles or Johnson and on top of the extensive research he displayed during his visit, Karr made himself the front-runner from the very start.

Below you’ll find five articles and blogs that came from my chats with Karr prior to and during his visit to Marquette.

I’ve also included a few other relevant links below, including a must-read NCAA News story from the Notre Dame website on Karr’s experience competing in the Alaska Wilderness Classic.

Mining Journal articles:

Karr brought uniformity to Nanooks’ name, identity

Karr sees potential financial growth for Wildcat athletics

Community service a highlight for Karr

Karr touches on new NMU sports, GLIAC, USOEC, CCSA in presentation

Karr: Cost, not location, is the top concern for new WCHA with two Alaska schools

Other reading:

Karr’s resume submitted to NMU

Karr’s Alaska Nanooks bio

NCAA News: It’s all about the journey for Fairbanks AD Karr

Karr’s profile at



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Forrest Karr