Bobby Smitheran started at San Diego State and fourth as Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Academic Support Services (SAASS) in 2008.
In his role, Smitheran is responsible for managing the comprehensive academic support program that serves over 500 Aztec student-athletes, which includes academic advising, academic mentoring, tutoring, access to a learning specialist and grade-checks with campus professors. He also oversees the SDSU athletics special admission program in consultation with the University's vice-president for enrollment management. In addition, he supervises the department's strength and conditioning program, drug testing program, and is the executive staff's liaison to the football program.
For the 2016-17 school year, San Diego State honored 329 scholar-athletes and set a department record with an average Academic Progress Rate (APR) multi-year program score of 982. All 19 varsity sports were at least 25 points higher than the minimum multi-year score of 930 established by the NCAA, marked by a five-point improvement over last year's multi-year.
In his position, Smitheran developed two summer orientation and retention programs, "Healthy Start "and "Wellness Wednesdays", for first-time freshman and transfers. He also conceptualized and implemented a four-year leadership and life skills program, "Aztecs Going Pro", to foster student-athletes' academic, personal, and professional development.
Prior to his promotion to the Aztec athletics senior leadership team, Smitheran was the department's Director of Compliance, coordinating the eligibility clearance process and certification of student-athletes for tryouts, practice, competition and summer workouts.
Smitheran also worked a two-year stint in 2011 and 2012 as the Director of Operations for the SDSU football team, overseeing all administrative aspects of the program relating to travel, practice, academic support, compliance, budget, facilities, training camp and summer camps. With Smitheran on the gridiron staff, the Aztecs appeared in two straight bowl games (New Orleans and Poinsettia) and captured the Mountain West Conference championship in 2012.
Smitheran first arrived at SDSU in 2008 as the department's Student-Athlete Services Coordinator, serving as a liaison to the University's admissions and housing offices, as well as the NCAA Eligibility Center. In that position, he also provided academic evaluations for potential admissibility and eligibility for freshmen, transfer, and international prospective student-athletes.
A native of Riverside, Calif., Smitheran played four years of collegiate baseball at the University of New Mexico, earning academic all-conference honors with the Lobos as a senior in 1996. After receiving his undergraduate degree in communications, he remained in Albuquerque, completing his master's degree in physical education at UNM in 1999 with a specialization in sports administration.
Smitheran began his career in intercollegiate athletics as Compliance Coordinator at the University of North of Texas in 1999-2000 before spending the next seven years at UC Irvine, including the final three as Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance and Student Support.
With the Anteaters, Smitheran supervised the department's compliance program and had significant responsibilities with the admissions process while providing academic counseling assistance to student-athletes. He also served as a liaison to various offices at UCI, including admissions, housing, administrative services and financial aid and scholarships.
Smitheran and his wife Karen reside in San Diego and have two children, Tyler and Cooper.