Director of Athletics Jim Donovan named Athletic Director of the Year

In Sports
A graphic interpretation of Athletic Director Jim Donavan holding an award which states "Athletic Director of the Year." Donovan is surrounded by soft orange and yellow tones and some names of athletic programs he has been associated with.
(Danielle Evangelista / Daily Titan)

Cal State Fullerton Athletic Director Jim Donovan was named a recipient of the Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award.

The annual award is given out by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and breaks down into seven categories. Donovan was one of 28 recipients of the award and was one of the four Division 1-AAA winners, which include schools that do not yield a football team.

The accolade was made to, “honor intercollegiate directors of athletics for their commitment and administrative excellence within a campus and/or college community environment over the course of the last year,” according to the association.

Donovan was named CSUF athletic director in 2012 after spending five years as the director of athletics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The award comes after six CSUF athletic programs won a Big West title for their respective sports in 2017-2018, the most in the school’s history. Conference titles also came from the school winning the Big West Commissioner’s Cup for the first time in school history.

CSUF athletics department saw its budget increase in the past season, with the school receiving up to $17.5 million from the state.

Donovan hired successful coaches in his time at Fullerton, including men’s basketball head coach Dedrique Taylor in 2013. In 2017, men’s basketball posted their most wins in a season since 2012 and appeared in Postseason Tournament, the school’s seventh postseason appearance.

After receiving a contract extension in 2017, Taylor led the team to a Big West tournament title and a spot in the NCAA Division I Tournament, the school’s first since 2008.

The Anaheim native was also part of hiring women’s basketball coach Jeff Harada in 2017. Now in Harada’s second season, he led the women’s basketball team to the Big West tournament for the first time since 2015.

Recently, Donovan extended the contracts of softball head coach Kelly Ford and baseball head coach Rick Vanderhook. Both Ford and Vanderhook are also coming off of Big West titles and NCAA tournament appearances.

Division 1-AAA winners alongside Donovan include Mike Roth of Gonzaga, Bruce Rasmussen of Creighton and Ken Kavanagh of Florida Gulf Coast.

Donovan, along with the other winners, will receive the award in June at the NACDA ‘s annual convention in Orlando, Florida.

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