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One of at least 2 band director finalists drops out of running

The OSU Marching Band plays at a football game against Buffalo. Credit: Ritika Shah / Asst. photo editor

The OSU Marching Band plays at a football game against Buffalo.
Credit: Ritika Shah / Lantern TV news director

One of at least two Ohio State Marching Band director finalists has dropped out of the running.

Barry Houser, director of the University of Illinois Marching Illini and Athletic Bands, has withdrawn his name from consideration, University of Illinois spokeswoman Robin Kaler told The Lantern in a Tuesday email.

Houser told The News-Gazette in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., on Monday that he withdrew his name after Illinois administrators told him they’d be more supportive of him and the band program if he stayed.

Houser visited OSU’s campus April 6 and 7, when he met with current band members and officials.

The other finalist for the OSU position, Corey Spurlin, associate director of bands, marching band director and associate professor of music at Auburn University, was on campus two weeks ago for a similar visit.

OSU spokesman Chris Davey said in a Tuesday email that he couldn’t confirm if Spurlin is set to be the new director.

“We must continue to refrain from discussing the search while it remains open,” Davey said. “We look forward to when we will be able to make the announcement of a new band director very soon.”

The band’s former director, Jonathan Waters, was fired in July after an OSU investigation found the band contained a sexualized culture. A search committee comprised of current and former band members and OSU faculty has been looking for Waters’ replacement.


  1. No one will be able to live up to the high standards and excellence that Jonathan Waters set for TBDBITL. The bonehead move by Drake and his cronies will live with our Great University for years to come. But I guess when the University sets the bar low on hiring a replacement for Gordon Gee and Joe Alutto, the Trustees will continue follow their low standards.

  2. It’s almost shameful that the most prestigious marching band director job is about to go an outsider by default. This job deserves the best (Jon Waters), or at least legitimate candidates who competed to get job. OSU needs to delay the search to find more candidates or at least wait until more action has been taken in regards to Jon’s Lawsuit.

  3. SHAMEFUL Ohio State! You blew this one BIG TIME with Jon Waters and everyone knows it. The Trustees have no clue on what they are doing in hiring competent people to run this university and once again threw a good man under the bus (i.e. Tressel). LOVE Urban Meyer but that still doesn’t take a way the fact they botched the the whole Tattoogate scandal.

  4. Any such appointment should have approval by OSU Alum Ass’n. Preference should be given
    to candidates with an OSU or some other instate Ohio background. The Waters dismissal seems a fiasco
    caving in to PC complaints by a inept administration, incapable of understanding OSU loyalty and traditions. We fear a mediocre appointment that falls short of the great quality, marching style, traditons of this, the finest band in the land. Nothing less wiil do!

  5. It is moronic for the administration to insist that the new Director be from outside the OSU Band experience. It simply makes no sense to bring in an outsider, when this Band has its own unique sound, instrumentation, and style, and is the gold standard for college marching bands in this country. We have never gone outside the OSUMB circle for a Director, just like we don’t go outside the OSU football program for a head coach. The only one that was brought into OSU without prior experience in the football program was John Cooper, and as good a coach and recruiter as he was, he could never quite get the OSU ethos. That will be true of the Band, if the administration and Trustees continue on their self-imposed path of destruction.

  6. Well, now it appears that the second candidate has also dropped out, so where does that leave the administration? Clearly with another epic fail on their hands. One hates to say “karma”, but this is exactly what you deserve for concocting a charade to justify firing the best man for the job, simply to cover up your shortcomings in a totally unrelated area. Perhaps Drake has it in mind to extend his musical interests to the football field, because it doesn’t look as though anyone else worthy of the title of Director of TBDBITL wants to touch this job with a barge pole. What a miserable shambles.

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