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Report: San Diego State’s Jim Sterk to become new Missouri athletic director

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The veteran has been a Division I AD for two decades in the west.

NCAA Basketball: Wyoming at San Diego State Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Reports have surfaced that Missouri’s next athletic director will be San Diego State’s Jim Sterk. The 60-year old has been in charge at SDSU since 2010.

From Sterk’s SDSU bio:

In terms of competitive success, San Diego State continues to set itself apart, compiling the fourth-highest combined winning percentage in the country in football and men's basketball since the beginning of the 2010-11 season at 75.2 percent (182-60). In addition, SDSU is one of four schools nationally to have appeared in six consecutive NCAA tournaments and have its football team play in five straight bowl games. [...]

Sterk came to SDSU from Washington State University, where he served as athletic director since 2000. Prior to his hiring at WSU, he was the AD at Portland State University from 1995 to 2000.

Sterk also has a solid reputation and the respect of his peers across the country. The NCAA recognized him in 2006 as the Division IA Athletic Directors' "Program of Excellence." He oversaw a period of unparalleled success at Washington State with historic accomplishments both on and off the field.

Since serving as associate athletic director at Seattle Pacific (1990-91) and Tulane (1991-95), Sterk has been an AD for 20 years, first at Portland State (1995-2000), then Wazzu (2000-10), and finally SDSU (2010-present).

From a June piece in the San Diego Union-Tribune:

In March, Sterk filled out a group of four named Division I ADs of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. Two months later, he landed a spot on the powerful men’s basketball committee that guides the cash-soaked NCAA Tournament.

Toss in the fact that basketball and football are thriving in tandem — Fisher’s team has drawn 72 consecutive sellouts and football, a winner of 10 straight, is being whispered among Top 25 teams this season — and the momentum is obvious.

The pair of popular sports, which represents the front porch of major-college athletics, has built the third-best combined winning percentage in the country (75.2) since Sterk arrived.

Major sport hires are obviously only part of an athletic director’s story, but here is a list of the hires Sterk has made in football and men’s basketball:

Football:

  • Bill Doba (Wazzu, 2003-07): 30-29, one bowl bid
  • Paul Wulff (Wazzu, 2008-11): 9-40
  • Rocky Long (SDSU, 2011-present): 43-23, six straight bowls (2015 MWC title)

Basketball:

  • Ritchie McKay (PSU, 1996-98): 24-29
  • Joel Sobotka (PSU, 1998-02): 53-59
  • Dick Bennett (Wazzu, 2003-06): 36-49
  • Tony Bennett (Wazzu, 2006-09): 69-33, two NCAA tourney appearances (one Sweet 16)
  • Ken Bone (Wazzu, 2009-14): 80-86

Sterk oversaw Portland State’s transition from Division II to Division I, a move that went pretty well. The Vikings went to the 1-AA football playoffs in 2000, their fifth season in their new level, and beginning in about their seventh D1 season, they began a nice run in basketball.

Sterk appears to be a well-regarded fund-raiser and a strong representative of his given school. His hiring record is not the best (the Wulff hire set Wazzu back years), but he has made at least one home run hire in each sport (Long, T. Bennett). So we’ll go with that for now. And considering what Bennett has done at Virginia, there was some impressive foresight with that hire.

We’ll learn and share more about Sterk in the coming days, but here’s to a successful tenure ... and one that is preferably longer than that of his predecessor, Mack Rhoades.

UPDATED:

Here’s the official Press Release

“Jim has made extraordinary contributions to the success of SDSU’s athletics teams,” Hirshman said of Sterk’s leadership during the most successful period of time in Aztec Athletics history. “I am grateful to Jim and his family for their service to the university community and wish them great success in their new endeavor.”