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Donovan Signs Extension

Athletics Director Looking Forward to Continued Success
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Cal State Fullerton Athletics Director Jim Donovan has signed a five-year contract extension through 2020.

Donovan manages a department with a $13.25 million budget, more than 65 full-time staff, more than 150 part-time staff and 300-plus student-athletes. His modified employment contract includes an increased bonus structure for him and his administrative team based on several performance factors, including increases in fundraising, as well as student academic success and team victories. The contract does not include an increase in base pay.

“Jim is an inspiring leader whose commitment to the academic and athletic success of our student-athletes has been a catalyst for positive culture change in Titan Athletics and throughout the diverse communities we serve,” CSUF President Mildred García said. “As Jim often says, ‘Athletics is the front porch of the University,’ and I look forward to welcoming many new generations of Titans and Titan fans under his superb leadership.”

Donovan said he is looking forward to the road ahead.

“I’m very grateful to President García, Vice President Eanes and so many others on campus for their support of Titan Athletics. We’ve made very positive progress in the past three years  — with the highlight being a return to the College World Series this past summer,” Donovan said.

“In addition, since 2012-13, we’ve increased the overall budget more than 40 percent, increased student attendance by more than 1,000 percent and just completed the best year of fundraising ever for Titan Athletics — raising $1.62 million. Even with all these accomplishments, there is more to do, so I am very appreciative of this contract extension, which will allow us to continue to improve Titan Athletics.”

Since taking over in 2012 as the 11th director of athletics  at Cal State Fullerton, Donovan has overseen an NCAA Division 1 athletics program that has notched several major accomplishments, including:

  • Fundraising: Titan Athletics had its best year ever, raising more than $1.62 million this past year, surpassing the previous year’s total by more than $700,000. It’s only the third time in school history that athletics has raised more than $1 million in an academic year.
  • Student Attendance: It soared this past year under Donovan’s leadership. More than 12,300 students attended athletics events in 2014-15, surpassing the previous year’s total of 4,800.
  • Facilities: Improvements include a state-of-the-art weight and training facility, refurbishing Titan Gym, lighting upgrades to grass fields used by students, classes and clubs, first-class branding at all athletics facilities and a new video scoreboard for Titan Stadium.
  • Team Success: In 2014-15,  Titan Athletics fielded three teams — men’s and women’s soccer and baseball —that won Big West Conference titles and appeared in the NCAA post season. Baseball went on an incredible run in the 2015 post season, winning the Big West, regionals, the super regionals, then the Titans made their 17th trip to the NCAA College World Series — their first since 2009.


“We are thrilled with the progress that Titan Athletics has made since Jim Donovan’s arrival,” Berenecea Johnson Eanes, vice president for student affairs, said. “His accomplishments on almost every metric — from academic success to athletic success to fundraising and friend raising and event attendance — are outstanding.”

Academically, all teams are on track to obtain a four-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) of above 946. Under NCAA rules, teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate in NCAA championships. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships.

Donovan also has spearheaded inclusive hiring practice, in order to support strategic plan efforts to recruit and retain high-quality and diverse faculty and staff. Since arriving, he has hired five head coaches reflective of the University’s diverse student population.

Donovan said, “I can’t say thanks enough to our administrative team  — especially Senior Associate Athletics Director Steve DiTolla and Associate Athletics Director and Senior Women’s Administrator Meredith Basil — for their unrelenting efforts to improve customer service, increase revenues and student attendance, and most of all, for improving the student athlete experience leading to the ultimate goal of graduation. In addition, all of our head coaches and their assistant coaches have given maximum effort to improve the competitive success of their programs — culminating in six NCAA post-season appearances last year. With everyone working together to improve Titan Athletics, our future is very bright!”

 Media Contact: Michael Mahi