KANSAS CITY, MO., JUNE 7 -- Dick Schultz, the University of Virginia athletic director, will succeed Walter Byers as executive director of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, sources confirmed.

Schultz, 58, will be introduced at a news conference in Kansas City Monday. Byers, who has run the NCAA since 1947, will retain power for about a year while Schultz works with him.

Sources said the NCAA Executive Committee narrowed the four finalists to Schultz and Southeastern Conference Commissioner Harvey Schiller.

The other two finalists were Indiana University President John Ryan and former NCAA president John R. Davis of Oregon State. Schultz, a soft-spoken native of Iowa who is chairman of the powerful selection committee for the NCAA men's basketball tournament, seemed the popular candidate among many NCAA groups.

"Dick is a natural leader," said Jim Delany, commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference and a member of the basketball committee. "He's low-key when he chairs meetings, but everyone is aware of who's in charge. He has that capacity for giving people instruction without making them feel dominated."

The executive committee, headed by Tom Frericks of Dayton and Will Bailey of Auburn, tried to keep the announcement secret. But newspaper reports in Colorado and Georgia quoted unnamed sources identifying Schultz as the winner even before all the finalists were notified.

Schultz could not be reached at his home in Charlottesville. But he was expected to appear with Byers here Monday.

The finalists were screened from an original list of more than 90 applicants and went through a day-long series of interviews last week. Included in Schultz's varied background is experience as a corporate consultant on reorganization and management. He was head basketball coach at Iowa, then athletic director at Cornell, before moving to Virginia in 1981.