The retirement of Kentucky State University legend William Graham has left large shoes to fill at the athletic director position.

Graham, the outgoing athletic director, was recognized by the Kentucky State University Board of Regents at commencement with a special resolution honoring his career.

Graham was a member of the Kentucky State men’s basketball NAIA championship teams in 1970 and 1971. He completed three stints at Kentucky State as an employee for approximately three decades of service.

More than 50 applications for the position were submitted, with 26 fully completed, quality applications in the pool.

Out of the 26 completed applications, the field was narrowed to five highly qualified candidates.

The pool of applicants is so qualified, in fact, University officials said candidates not selected for the director of athletics position may be considered for other vacancies within athletics.

A committee chaired by Gregory Rush, former CFO and director of fiscal accountability at Kentucky State, who now serves as interim athletic director, will interview the five candidates this week.

The candidates are Wheeler Brown, no relation to Kentucky State University President M. Christopher Brown II, who formerly served as athletic director at Jackson State University in Mississippi from 2015 to 2018; Derrick A. Johnson, former director of athletics at Elizabeth City State University in North Carolina from 2015 to 2018; Roger K. Ogden, currently the assistant athletic director at Lane College in Tennessee since 2015; Carlton A. Rice, currently the director of athletics at Lawson State Community College in Alabama since 2013 and Trayvean D. Scott, currently executive athletic director at Southern University and A&M College since 2013.