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New WWU athletic director looks to place larger emphasis on fundraising, fan engagement

When former University of Missouri Director of Athletics Jim Sterk was hired to helm Western Washington University's athletics department, a 15-year-old question was once again revived: Will Western ever get its football program back?

Sterk, 67, who has also served as the athletics director at Washington State University, San Diego State University and Portland State University over his 35 years in athletics administration, said it's not currently an option for the school.

"If there was a way to do it, I would seriously look at it. I think things would have to change in a number of ways for me to even propose it to [Western President Sabah Randhawa]," Sterk said. "I would love to, but I have to face reality, too."

The reasons the football program was discontinued following the 2008 season remain issues today, Sterk added, and sustaining such a program at the NCAA Division II level "may be even harder to try to do now."

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