JIM STERK Entering 2016-17
James (Jim) Sterk

When Jim Sterk took over the San Diego State athletic department in February 2010, the term "sleeping giant" he used to describe the yet unreached potential of the Aztec athletics department.

Now in his seventh season, Sterk has overseen the most successful period of time in SDSU history. During his tenure, 50 teams have advanced to NCAA championship with 20 of those squads finishing in the top 25 at national championship events. Since 2012-13, a total of 32 Aztec teams have won conference championships.

In addition, Sterk has overseen SDSU's success in the classroom (including record numbers of scholar-athletes and APR highs), as well as a school-record $5.6 million in scholarship donations through the Aztec Club.

Clearly, the sleeping giant is wide awake.

And the nation has taken notice. This past season, Sterk was honored with the NACDA Athletic Director of the Year honor and was also named to the prestigious NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee.

The overall success of the program can be traced to the 2011-12 academic year when nine athletic teams advanced to postseason play and scored postseason points in NCAA competition. Two of those programs - men's golf and women's outdoor track & field - finished among the nation's top 10. Since then, a school-record 11 teams accumulated postseason points for SDSU in 2012-13, followed by 10 in 2013-14, nine teams in 2014-15 and five teams this past year.

San Diego State has also become the dominant program in its conferences, claiming 32 league titles since the beginning of the 2012-13 campaign, including 28 in the Mountain West. The latter figure is far and away the most in the conference during that period of time. This past season alone, SDSU's athletic teams combined to win five team league championships (three MW titles).

Since arriving at San Diego State in February 2010, Sterk, 60, has led the Aztec athletic department to fiscal stability. Despite state cutbacks, he has ended each of his first four years at SDSU in the black, and athletic department fundraising is at an all-time high.

Sterk's vision of a program that competes with the nation's best on the field, and one that takes a back seat to no one in the classroom, is well on its way to becoming a reality.

Over the past four years, an amazing 94 percent of student-athletes that have exhausted their eligibility at SDSU have graduated. In addition, a remarkable 60 percent of all student-athletes last year earned scholar-athlete status (3.0 cumulative GPA or 3.2 semester GPA).

San Diego State also has set a school-record with six programs receiving a perfect single-year score in the Academic Progress Report (APR) released by the NCAA.

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 and WSU 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.

In his last three years at WSU, 13 Cougar teams competed in NCAA postseason tournaments, including back-to-back trips by the men's basketball team (2007 and 2008), while women's rowing earned five NCAA championship bids, including a fourth-place finish in 2006, the highest finish ever by a WSU women's team in NCAA competition.

Sterk graduated from Western Washington University in 1980, where he earned four letters in football and one in basketball. He was credited with a school-record 164 tackles during the 1977 season, garnering first-team NAIA District I all-star accolades. He was named team captain and MVP, helping the Vikings to the district championship game. On Feb. 6, 2010, Sterk was inducted into Western Washington's Athletics Hall of Fame for his success in football.

Sterk received his master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University. In addition to SDSU, Washington State and Portland State, his professional career has also included positions at North Carolina, Maine, Seattle Pacific and Tulane.

Sterk and his wife Debra have three daughters: Ashley (27), Amy (24), and Abby (21).

Born June 10, 1956, Bellingham, Washington
Hometown Nooksack, Washington
High School Nooksack Valley High, 1974 - Earned varsity letters in football, basketball, baseball and track.
Alma Mater '80 - B.A.- Phys. and Business Edu. (West. Wash. Univ.)
'86 - MS - Sports Admin (Ohio Univ.)
Family Wife, Debra (Debi) J. Sterk
Daughter, Ashley (3-12-89)
Daughter, Amy (10-14-91)
Daughter, Abby (5-12-95)

2010 - present San Diego State  Athletic Director
2000 - 2010 Washington State  Athletic Director
1995 - 2000 Portland State  Athletic Director
1991 - 1995 Tulane University  Senior Assoc. AD
1990 - 1991 Seattle Pacific  Assoc. Athletic Director
1987 - 1990 Univ. of Maine  '89-90 - Assist. AD (Finance)
 '88-89 - Director of Athletic Serv.
 '87-88 - Assist. Business and
              Ticket Manager
1986 Univ. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  Assist. to the Dir. of Ticket Ops
  • 2016 NACDA National Athletic Director of the Year
  • Inducted into the Western Washington University Athletics Hall of Fame Feb. 6, 2010 for his success as linebacker in their football program 
  • Member of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee
  • Oversaw a significant increase of the department's operating budget from just under $20 million in 2000 to over $30 million in 2008.
  • WSU Athletic Foundation membership total has doubled since 2000 and annual gifts have increased from just under $3 million in 2000 to more than $13 million in 2008.
  • Pac-10 Rev. Sharing and Football Officiating Subcommittees
  • In 2006-07 WSU athletics department was recognized with three national honors for their excellence in academics.
  • In 2006-07 Washington State Athletics had 8 sports score points in the USSA Director's Cup, finishing 70th nationally.
  • Pac-10 Special and Ad Hoc Committees:  AD Liaisons to Coaches Group, Bowl Committee, Rose Bowl Management.
  • Pac-10 Men's Basketball Subcommittees Chair
  • Pac-10 Conference Executive
  • Portland State hosted the 2000 NCAA Women's Basketball West Regional
  • Restarted the Portland State men's basketball program after a 15-year hiatus.
  • Chair, Big Sky Conference Joint Athletic Council (1999-2000)
  • Portland Oregon Sports Authority (1999-2000)
  • Completed master plan in March 2000 for a $20 million renovation of PSU's athletic and student recreation facility.
  • In 1999 assisted in a $37 million development of Portland's Civic Stadium, home of Viking football
  • Increased annual cash donations to PSU athletics from $120,000 in 1994 to $1.2 million in 1999
  • NCAA I-AA Football Regional Advisory Committee (1999)
  • Big Sky Conference TV Committee (1998-2000)
  • Initiated the Portland State Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Big Sky Legislative Committee (1996-98)
  • Between 1992 and 1995, directed Green Wave Club campaign at PSU that generated more than 3,200 new donors (220% increase) and an additional $8.6 million (400% increase) in gifts and pledges.
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