The search is officially on to fill two prominent openings in the athletics program at Northern Arizona University.

NAU has hired Parker Executive Search to assist two NAU search committees in identifying candidates for men’s basketball coach and athletic director.

“We are committed to finding the best possible candidates for these high-profile positions,” said MJ McMahon, NAU executive vice president. “This is a pivotal time and a great opportunity for NAU athletics.”

McMahon chairs a committee to replace Athletic Director Jim Fallis, who announced Tuesday that he would not seek an extension of his contract, which expires June 30. Fallis will continue running day-to-day operations of the department until his current contract ends. He joined the university in 2004.

A committee chaired by Mason Gerety, NAU vice president for Advancement, will coordinate the search for a new men’s basketball coach. Former coach Mike Adras resigned Dec. 9 and was replaced on an interim basis by longtime NAU employee Dave Brown.

The search firm will narrow down a list of candidates for each position, and then hand over the interview process to each of the committees. According to McMahon, NAU hopes to hire a new athletic director within eight weeks, with the hiring of a basketball coach to follow.

According to its website, Parker Executive search has assisted with hiring athletic directors, men’s basketball coaches and football coaches at dozens of universities across the country.