Aug 8, 2014 6:40 PM by GRANT MEECH
Colorado State Athletic Director Jack Graham was fired this afternoon by university president Tony Frank.
The termination is seen as quite a surprise to Ram fans as Graham was hired by Frank.
In a press release Frank cited "irreconcilable differences" behind the move to fire Graham.
Deputy AD John Morris has been named acting AD at the time. The search for a new candidate will resume immediately.
"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," Frank said. "As a personnel issue, this will be the University's only comment on this personnel action."
Graham was pushing hard for an on campus stadium but his proposal was met with backlash at nearly every turn; from financial troubles to protests by the community. It was also difficult to find the land needed on the Fort Collins campus for a new stadium.
The annual Rocky Mountain Showdown is weeks away, coming as more of a shock.
Read the full release below from the university:
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.