By Ryan Divish/Havre Daily News Sports Editorfirstname.lastname@example.org
A familiar face to the people of Havre will be Montana State University-Northern's new athletic director.
Byron Ophus, a current professor in MSU-Northern's College of Technical Sciences, has accepted the position and will begin duties on June 15, Northern announced this morning.
"I am very pleased that Byron has accepted the position of athletic director as he brings a wealth of administrative experience to the job," said Chancellor Alex Capdeville in a press release. "Byron is a good fit for Northern because he is well connected in the community and has a passion for athletics."
Before joining the Northern faculty, Ophus worked at Independence Bank (formerly First Security Bank) in Havre for 17 years. Capdeville said Ophus is a well-respected member of the community, having served on the Havre Area Chamber of Commerce from 1992-95, including stints as president in 1994 and past president in 1995.
Ophus replaces former AD Ted Spatkowski, who stepped down after 12 years on the job citing personal reasons.
As athletic director, Ophus' responsibilities will include fundraising, overseeing the athletic department's budget, improving departmental communications, maintaining NAIA relations and standards, community development and overseeing scheduling of athletic events. He will still teach part-time at Northern.