The search for a new athletics director at Utah State University will come to an end when the school's Board of Trustees meets today.

A press conference has been scheduled for 1:30 this afternoon where an announcement will likely be made.

Several applicants have had their names mentioned in recent weeks, with speculation centering on current University of Washington senior associate athletic director and former Eastern Washington AD Scott Barnes, Boise State senior associate athletic director Curt Apsey and ex-Northern Iowa AD Rick Hartzell.

Florida Atlantic AD Craig Angelos, who has deep ties to Utah and Utah State, is also a candidate.

Barnes, though, is the frontrunner, according to several sources at the school.

At Washington since August of 2005, Barnes has been involved with a significant fund-raising effort for the Huskies as they upgrade their football stadium. In addition to fund-raising, Barnes also oversees ticket sales, multi-media rights management, corporate sponsorships, marketing, event promotion, and communications services, including Internet Web site management.

The situation at Washington is a bit tenuous currently, however. Former athletic director Todd Turner was recently fired and many boosters are demanding the firing of football coach Tyrone Willingham.

Barnes, 45, spent time as the athletic director at Humboldt State in California before taking the AD job at Eastern Washington in 1999. At EWU, he helped turn the Eagles into Big Sky Conference contenders in most sports and spearheaded several multi-million dollar fund-raising efforts.

Barnes, a Spokane native, played power forward at Fresno State in the '80s and has been involved with athletics administration at several schools for nearly two decades.

Apsey, however, appears to be out of the running. He was in Boise on Thursday for the Broncos' basketball game against USU.

The USU board of trustees meets today at the University Inn for a regularly scheduled meeting. The athletics committee will be meeting at 7:15 a.m. and could finalize the hiring then and introduce the new AD to the trustees when they meet a few hours later.

An announcement of the next athletics director at Utah State could be made after those meetings.

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