BLACKSBURG, VA., NOV. 17 -- David Braine, 44, will become athletic director at Virginia Tech on Jan. 1. He will be the fourth man in a year to head the scandal-torn, debt-stricken sports department.

Braine is athletic director at Marshall but was out of the country when Virginia Tech officials announced his appointment to the $75,000-a-year job. Fringe benefits include a car and membership in the Blacksburg Country Club, but the length of his contract remains to be negotiated, the officials said.

The search for an athletic director narrowed in recent days when the other finalist, Kansas State Athletic Director Larry Travis, said he did not want the job.

"It was a good search, in my opinion," Virginia Tech Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer Minnis Ridenour told reporters. "We were very pleased with the final candidate."

Ridenour said the school had 75 applicants.

Braine went to Marshall in 1985. He had been an assistant athletic director at Virginia and at Fresno State. Before that, he coached freshman football at Virginia Military Institute and coached the defense at the University of Richmond and Georgia Tech.

After Bill Dooley settled a breach-of-contract suit against Virginia Tech last December -- and quit -- the school hired Dale T. (Dutch) Baughman as athletic director. He quit in June, citing disagreements with administrators over an internal probe of the basketball program that led to NCAA sanctions. Since then the school has had an interim director.

Baughman was particularly irate because the school stripped him of some of his power as athletic director when he refused to cooperate in the probe, which he said was initiated behind his back.

Braine will have the full powers of an athletic director, Ridenour said. In addition to the basketball sanctions and NCAA sanctions imposed on the football program because of scholarship violations, Braine inherits an athletic association that is $2.9 million in debt.