SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Missy Conboy was named Notre Dame's interim athletics director on Saturday within minutes of Kevin White being introduced as Duke's new AD.
"As a member of our senior leadership team in athletics for the past 20 years, Missy has vast experience in the areas of personnel, compliance and sports administration, and I look forward to working closely with her during this time of transition," said the Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president.
As deputy director of athletics since October 2004, Conboy oversees the legal affairs of the athletics department. She also served 11 years as associate athletics director and five years as assistant athletics director.
Jenkins said there is no timetable to find a permanent replacement for White.
White praised the decision to name Conboy interim AD.
"She's phenomenal. She was clearly the brightest person in the athletic department, there's no question about that," he said.
Notre Dame has had 11 athletics directors, and the first six were either current or past football coaches. The only two who weren't Notre Dame graduates were Gene Corrigan, who was athletic director from 1981-87, and White, who was hired in 2000.
Among the names likely to pop up during the search are:
• Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith, a defensive end on Notre Dame's 1973 national championship team and an assistant coach under Dan Devine;
• Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst, who played baseball for the Irish from 1981-83;
• SMU athletics director Steve Orsini, a fullback on Notre Dame's 1977 national championship team;
• Xavier athletic sdirector Mike Bobinski, who pitched for the Irish in 1976-79;
• Florida State senior associate athletics director for compliance Bob Minnix, a tailback for the Irish from 1969-71;
• Tulsa athletics director Bubba Cunningham, a former associate athletics director for the Irish.
White was hired by Notre Dame in March 2000 after the school was placed on NCAA probation because of the relationship between a booster and more than a dozen football players. White had helped guide Arizona State and Tulane from point-shaving scandals.
He was praised by Notre Dame officials for his work and the coaches praised him for his support.
"I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work with and learn from him, and we appreciate all the support he has shown towards our program," women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw said.
His major accomplishments included overseeing a massive updating of facilities and expanding the number of scholarships awarded in non-revenue sports to the NCAA maximum.
The Irish won national championships in women's basketball in 2001, in fencing in 2003 and 2005, and in women's soccer in 2004.
But White was a frequent target on fan message boards, especially for the football team's shortcomings. His biggest criticism came in 2001 after George O'Leary was hired then quickly resigned after it was revealed he didn't have the master's degree in education that he claimed, nor had he played college football for three years.