Colorado State names new athletic director
FORT COLLINS ” Southern Illinois Athletic Director Paul Kowalczyk was named to the same job at Colorado State on Tuesday.
Kowalczyk replaces Mark Driscoll, who resigned last month after 2 1/2 years to return to the banking business.
He will be paid $225,000 a year under a five-year contract, school officials said.
Kowalczyk had been athletic director at Southern Illinois at Carbondale since April 2000. Before that, he was an associate athletic director at Northwestern and also worked at Kansas State, Portland State, Youngstown State and Kent State.
Colorado State President Larry Penley said university officials liked Kowalczyk’s record as a fundraiser.
“That is particularly important as we well know here at Colorado State,” he said.
Kowalczyk said he increased the budget and built successful teams at Southern Illinois.
“We got it done there and I’m sure we can do it here,” he said.
Kowalczyk said Colorado State faces more formidable opponents such as BYU and Utah, and its $13 million budget is relatively small for the Division I Mountain West Conference.
“We’re just going to take the time to build it. It’s not going to happen over night,” he said.
His five-year deal contrasts with the tenure of his four predecessors, who averaged less than three years each.
“I like the process of building, growing and having success, and it’s going to take some time to get things moving and really elevating the program,” Kowalczyk said. “You can’t do that in two years.”
He starts on May 17.
Kowalczyk helped rebuild Southern Illinois’ football program, which had just two winning seasons in 17 years until he hired Jerry Kill as head coach. The school has won three consecutive championships in the Division I-AA Gateway Conference.
In all other sports, Southern Illinois competes in the Division I Missouri Valley Conference. The school’s annual athletics budget is $6.5 million.
“Obviously, with the success of basketball and football, his imprint is apparent,” said Southern Illinois baseball coach Dan Callahan. “But he’s also done a lot with the non-revenue sports and has helped bring the budget under control.”
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