June 13, 2011
Jeff Altier, Stetson University, Southeast
Jeff Altier has spent his entire professional career building the Stetson University department of athletics, including the last 15 at the helm, and has taken the institution to new heights.
Altier has worked tirelessly to level the playing field for women's athletics, increasing scholarships, participation opportunities and staffing.
Under his tenure, Stetson has collected 15 conference championships, including unprecedented success in women's tennis, golf, soccer, basketball and softball. Altier has also left his mark on Stetson's facilities. Thus far, the hallmark of his professional career was the building of Stetson's baseball facility, which has long been the calling card of Stetson's athletics program, and from which Altier is an alum. In the softball realm, the 2003 construction of the Patricia Wilson Field has brought four-time recognition as the Collegiate Softball Field of the Year.
Altier has participated on various Atlantic Sun committees, currently serving as the conference's vice president. In addition, Altier serves on the NCAA Leadership Cabinet. Altier is currently on the board of directors for the Central Florida Sports Commission, which has worked to host first-and second-round NCAA Men's Basketball Championship games three times.
Mike Lynch, Boston University, Northeast
Now in his seventh year as assistant vice president and director of athletics at Boston University (BU), Mike Lynch has had unprecedented success, leading the Terriers to 42 conference championships, including a remarkable 39 in the America East Conference - winning nearly 30 percent of the championships awarded by the America East Conference since Lynch became AD.
Under Lynch's direction, BU earned its fifth consecutive Stuart P. Haskell, Jr. Commissioner's Cup in 2009-10, which recognizes America East's best overall athletics department. These achievements are in sync with Lynch's long term goals that he unveiled to the department in a strategic plan, "Terrier Pride" which focuses priority on six core objectives, including athletic and academic excellence.
Also at the top of Lynch's to-do list is a comprehensive multimedia presentation for BU athletics, incorporating a broad use of all available technology and social media vehicles to enhance the BU brand. Fundraising has been a top priority as well. Under his direction, BU Athletics has seen annual support grow more than 200 percent and the number of donor-endowed athletic scholarships more than double.
Prior to taking over the reigns as AD, Lynch served as assistant VP of Development for Athletics and Student Life at BU.
Bruce Rasmussen, Creighton University, Central
A 2004 NACDA Athletics Director of the Year Award recipient, Bruce Rasmussen will be in his 18th year as director of athletics and 32nd year overall at Creighton University in 2011-12, ultimately raising the prominence of the institution with its success on-and-off the field, as well as impressive fundraising and facility improvement, throughout his tenure.
The recently opened Wayne and Eileen Ryan Athletic Center and D.J. Sokol Arena gave the volleyball and women's basketball programs a top-notch facility to call home. The Rasmussen Center, named in his honor, will stand as one of the centerpieces on the Creighton campus, and finally the completion of TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, where Bluejay baseball and the College World Series started play this year.
These projects add to an already impressive resume for Rasmussen, who has seen Creighton win 21 regular-season and 28 conference tournament titles in his 17 years. Creighton has also been recognized with the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) All-Academic Award in six of the past seven seasons.
Rasmussen is a member of the College World Series of Omaha, Inc. executive committee and continues to play a vital role in Creighton and the city of Omaha remaining as host of the College World Series.
Larry Williams, University of Portland, West
Larry Williams is in his seventh year leading the University of Portland Athletic Department and has spearheaded numerous projects that have enhanced Portland's athletic and academic performance, brand awareness, sports facilities and resources, and aptitude to serve as host for regional and national athletic championships.
The Portland women's soccer team won the national title in 2005 and has led the nation in average attendance six straight years. A total of 37 student-athletes have garnered All-America recognition under his watch, while 16 individuals have earned Academic All-America honors and four student-athletes have received NCAA postgraduate scholarships.
Williams has secured multiple television contracts that have substantially increased the exposure of the University, while also unveiling an updated athletics logo and word marks for brand enhancement. Athletics facilities have undergone continued renovations and consistently have been upgraded with aesthetic and functional improvements in the last seven years.
Williams provides leadership at the national and conference level, currently serving on the NCAA Championships and Sports Sponsorship Cabinet and formerly on the NCAA Men's Basketball Issues Committee. Previously, he chaired the West Coast Conference Athletics Directors Council. A former NFL player and practicing attorney, Williams directed the licensing and product marketing efforts at his alma mater, Notre Dame, prior to his 2004 hiring as AD.