December 14, 1998 Vol. III, No. 8

Former Patriot Head Named Interim Athletic Director

Jankovich, former director at Miami, to identify ways to improve program

Cal State Northridge President Blenda J. Wilson has named Sam Jankovich, the nationally known former New England Patriots CEO and University of Miami athletic director, as CSUN interim athletic director for the remainder of the school year.

The president convinced Jankovich, who has worked as a sports management consultant in recent years, to come out of retirement to help the CSUN program. Jankovich is best known for running a Miami athletic program that won seven national championships in different sports during his tenure.

"I'm delighted that Sam Jankovich has agreed to provide interim leadership for our athletic programs," Wilson said. "His impressive background in professional and collegiate athletics represents the level of stability, integrity and confidence that our student athletes, coaches and staff clearly merit."

Jankovich, 64, a resident of Hayden Lake, Idaho, immediately assumes responsibility for a Northridge athletic program that fields 20 teams, has about 500 student-athletes and an annual budget of about $7 million. The university also is working on multimillion dollar projects to build new football and softball fields.

In his new CSUN position, Jankovich will report directly to the university's president. He is slated to work at least through June 30, 1999, or until a permanent candidate is selected for the athletic director job. Although he may assist in the search, Jankovich is not expected to be a candidate for the permanent job.

Jankovich told the Los Angeles Times that he, in many ways, sees himself on a fact-finding mission.

"There won't be abrupt changes and decisions," he said. "I will conduct a tremendous number of meetings with coaches, students, faculty and people in the community.

"I will ask them all, 'What we can do to make this a truly great athletic program?'"

Since 1992, Jankovich has worked as a consultant to various corporations and universities, including a stint for the United States Olympic Committee. From 1990 to 1992, he served as chief executive officer of the New England Patriots professional football organization. But he is best known for his 1983 to 1990 tenure as University of Miami athletic director, running a program that won national championships in football (1983, 1987, 1989); baseball (1985); men's tennis (1987); women's tennis (1986); and women's golf (1984). During Jankovich's stay in Miami, the university's football team became the top contender in the nation during the 1980s, the campus resurrected its men's basketball program after a 15-year absence, increased television coverage of its teams and boosted athletic fund raising from $750,000 in 1983 to more than $3 million in 1988.

Previously in his 40-year career in athletics, Jankovich worked as athletic director for Washington State University from 1976 to 1983, promoting a successful expansion of the school's football stadium and struggling in the early years to preserve funding and institutional commitment to fielding a major sports program.

In a related move, Wilson also announced the names of the seven-member search committee that will launch CSUN's national search for a permanent administrator to replace former CSUN Athletic Director Paul Bubb, who resigned effective Nov. 6.

The members are chair Tom Shannon, CSUN's faculty athletic representative; men's baseball coach Mike Batesole; student Nick Hamlin, chair of the Athletic Congress; Steven Parker, community affairs manager for Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan; Dr. Keith Richman, chair last year of CSUN's Task Force on Intercollegiate Athletics; women's softball coach Janet Sherman; and Kinesiology Department faculty member Barbara Swerkes.

The committee will review a job description and draft an advertisement for the position. Wilson said she hopes to conclude the search and announce the hiring of a candidate before the end of the spring semester.

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December 14, 1998


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