Niagara hires Eastern Kentucky's Simon Gray to take over as athletic director

Simon Gray is leaving Eastern Kentucky to take over as Niagara University's athletic director.

The 37-year-old was hired on Friday. Gray spent the past 10 years at EKU, where he most recently served as the school's acting athletic director. At Niagara, he fills a job that had been vacant since Tom Crowley's abrupt departure in September.

Gray has 15 years of athletic administration experience, including stops at Richmond, Tennessee State and Boston College.

Niagara president Rev. James Maher described Gray's hiring as the first step in invigorating a department that has been in transition.

In 2012, Niagara discontinued its women's hockey program to add track and field. Last year, Purple Eagles athletics lost its most high-profile figure after men's basketball coach Joe Mihalich left for Hofstra.