CSU Fires Athletic Director

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Fort Collins, CO Jack Graham was hired as CSU's athletic director in 2011.

He formerly played quarterback for the Rams in the early 70s.

Graham's first hire, and perhaps the most high-profile of his tenure, was that of former Alabama offensive coordinator Jim McElwain on December 13, 2011.

He followed that up with the hire of former national coach of the year Larry Eustachy in 2012 to lead the school's men's basketball team.

In October of 2012, Graham secured a unanimous recommendation from Colorado State's Board of Governors to President Dr. Tony Frank for what would become Graham's trademark idea, the building of an on campus stadium at CSU.

The new stadium has been met with mixed reviews by people in Fort Collins, but in an email from Dr. Frank to the CSU community, and published in the Denver Post, he said the decision to remove Graham had nothing to do with the on campus stadium.

**excerpted from the Denver Post**

"In addition, this decision is in no way connected to the on-campus stadium project. Our commitment to our student-athletes and to excellence across the university drives our decisions about Rams athletics and always has. The stadium project is separate from this personnel action and will continue to move forward as planned, with me providing a recommendation to the Board of Governors in October. We appreciate all of the support CSU has received for this initiative through your donations and commitment."

Here is a full press release from CSU:

Colorado State University President Tony Frank today announced that he has removed Jack Graham as director of athletics at Colorado State and a national search will take place to find new leadership for the department. Details of the search will be shared in the coming weeks.

"I have elected to terminate Jack Graham’s employment as athletic director,” Frank said. “While I am grateful to Jack for the energy he’s brought to CSU in establishing a culture that expects excellence within Ram Athletics and his actions in hiring great coaches and staff, there have come to exist some substantial differences in our views. Based on our differences, I have chosen to exercise the termination for convenience clause within Jack's contract to allow the university and the athletic department to move forward, building on the successes that Jack brought to our program. As a personnel issue, this will be the University’s only comment on this personnel action.”

“Our athletic department has made great strides in the last few years, and I wholeheartedly expect that progress to continue,” Frank said. “This in no way diminishes our institutional commitment to excellence in athletics. We’re excited about the future of our program and looking forward to a great year.”

Frank named Deputy Athletic Director John Morris as interim director of athletics. “In John, we are fortunate to have a seasoned, successful administrator who has the respect and support of the entire athletic department to help guide us through this transition,” Frank said.

Frank plans to report to the university’s Board of Governors in October about the proposed on-campus stadium and will discuss the impact of the leadership change as part of that presentation. This personnel decision is unrelated to the stadium issue.

“Our commitment to our student-athletes and excellence across the university drive our decisions about Ram athletics and always have,” Frank said.
The university will conduct a national search for the next athletic director and will announce details of that search later this month. The priority will be to hire someone with the vision to continue to build on recent momentum.

“As I have always said, athletics is a key part of our overall success as an institution, and we’ll be looking for the kind of positive, forward-thinking leadership that can play a pivotal role in our continued overall success as an institution,” Frank said.

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