- Dan Rafael, ESPN Senior Writer
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When Keith Kizer resigned in January after eight years as executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission -- the most important commission in the United States and probably the world -- the move to fill the job began immediately.
On Wednesday, the commission announced the 10 finalists for the high-profile position (out of more than 300 who applied).
Here’s a look at the 10 finalists (in alphabetical order), all of whom have been notified they have made it this far. The person who gets the job will run the day-to-day operarations of the commission and oversee all combat sports activities in the state, including boxing and MMA.
• Robert Sean Bennett: Current Nevada boxing judge and a former FBI special agent.
• Eric Bentley: Assistant director of the New York State Athletic Commission.
• Aaron M Davis: Commissioner of the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board.
• Christopher Eccles: Serves as deputy attorney general for the Nevada commission.
• Andrew Foster: Executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission, the equivalent job there as what he would do in Nevada.
• Craig Hubble: A lawyer in California and vice president of the regional NABF sanctioning organization.
• Michael Martino: An inspector for the Nevada commission. Has been with the commission since 1981. Also the former interim executive director of USA Boxing.
• Jeffrey C. Mullen: Executive director of the Tennessee commission.
• Joseph W. Nady: A Nevada commission inspector (who happens to be the brother of veteran Nevada referee Jay Nady).
• Mark Smith: An MMA judge for the Nevada commission. Also a former White House fellow and current commercial airline pilot.
Nevada commission chairman Francisco Aguilar said he and the four other Nevada commissioners would review the applications and narrow down the list for interviews in the next few weeks.
“We’ll be diligent but we’d like to have somebody in place before the (Floyd) Mayweather fight,” Aguilar said of Mayweather’s May 3 welterweight unification bout with Marcos Maidana at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. “I’m very pleased with the list. I think we have some have great candidates.”
The position pays up to $97,901 annually.