KENT, Ohio (AP) — Kent State has picked Randale Richmond to be its next athletic director.

The school announced Richmond’s selection Friday, ending a national search that started when it was announced Joel Nielsen was stepping down when his contract expired in June.

Richmond worked in Kent State’s athletics office from 2004-15 before going to Old Dominion, where he has served as the school’s senior associate director of athletics.

“Randale Richmond embodies our Kent State commitment to graduating student-athletes and to winning championships, in that order,” said Kent State president Todd Diacon. “His enthusiasm for Kent State and for student-athlete success is infectious, and we welcome Randale and his family back into our Kent State community.”

Richmond earned his master’s degree in education from Kent State. He has a bachelor’s degree in history from Baldwin-Wallace College.

“My family and I are beyond excited to return to Kent State and lead an outstanding athletics department,” Randale said. “The university’s mission is to transform the lives of our students through access and education, a goal which is core to my beliefs. As a department and as a university, we will deliver on this mission.”

Richmond will be formally introduced at an upcoming news conference.