May 29, 2002
Terry Wanless named new CSUS athletics director
Wanless, who spent nine years building the University of North
Dakota athletics program into one of the best Division II
programs in the nation, has been named the new director of
intercollegiate athletics at California State University,
He was introduced by CSUS President Donald R. Gerth at a news
conference today at Hornet Stadium.
"I believe Terry will prove himself an outstanding addition
to this University, and indeed to the whole community,"
Dr. Gerth said. "He is a proven leader with a clear vision
of the value of athletics in higher education, and of how
to build a successful program. Just as importantly, he is
a man of principles and a man of integrity."
Wanless was athletics director at North Dakota from 1990 to
During that time, North Dakota enjoyed strong competitive
success, winning four NCAA national championships and 36 conference
championships, and finishing second in conference 25 times.
The university finished in the top 15 every year in the Sears
Cup standings except 1997, when flooding ended the spring
guided the program to compliance with gender equity guidelines,
and he challenged student-athletes to excel in the classroom.
Student-athlete grade point averages increased from 2.3 to
3.1. In spring 1999, 67 athletes earned a perfect 4.0 GPA,
and the graduation rate of North Dakota student-athletes was
77 percent, compared to 52 percent of the overall student
At North Dakota, Wanless inherited a program that was nearly
$500,000 in debt. When he left, it had a $200,000 reserve
and the athletic budget had increased 32 percent. Fund-raising
had increased from $220,000 to $900,000 annually. The football,
hockey, and men's and women's basketball teams had set new
attendance records, and the university had signed the first
$1 million radio contract in Division II history.
Among the numerous facility improvements completed during
Wanless' tenure were renovated athletic administration and
tennis facilities, a resurfaced track facility, a new artificial
surface for the football field, and many remodeled locker
rooms and offices. Wanless developed the concept for the new
indoor football stadium. A hockey arena, built with private
funds, was being developed when Wanless left.
Prior to his position at North Dakota Wanless was director
of intercollegiate athletics at Western Carolina University
for four years and held a variety of positions, including
director of intercollegiate athletics, at Towson State University
in Baltimore. Most recently, he was with Dakota Athletic Consulting.
"I sincerely appreciate the opportunity given to me by
Dr. Gerth to be the next athletics director at CSUS,"
Wanless said. "I see a tremendous opportunity to move
the program forward. I'm excited about working with the coaches,
administration and staff to help CSUS become a dominant force
in the Big Sky Conference."
Wanless replaces Debby Colberg, who has been the CSUS director
of intercollegiate athletics since February 1999. Colberg,
who continued to coach her highly successful volleyball team
while serving as athletics director, decided to focus on coaching.
During her tenure, the athletics department saw continued
growth both on and off the field. Ten sports posted their
best records since joining NCAA Division I, there has been
a $400,000 renovation of Hornet Gym and academic support of
athletes has been improved.
Wanless earned a bachelor's degree in physical education from
Black Hills State University, a master's degree in physical
education from Northern Illinois University and a doctorate
in athletic administration from Temple University.
For further information, send an e-mail
public affairs at (916) 278-6156. For ticketed events, call
the CSUS Ticket Office at (916) 278-4323.
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