The 2014-15 campaign will mark the end of Jamie Pollard’s first decade as the Director of Athletics at Iowa State University.
Under Pollard’s leadership, the department has significantly invested in its facilities, re-energized the fan base, tripled its revenues and recorded all-time program bests on the field and in the classroom. The Iowa State athletics brand is stronger than ever.
ISU has registered its all-time best athletics’ graduation rate and national all-sports ranking during Pollard’s tenure. The Cyclones’ grad rate last year was second-best in the Big 12 and their place in the 2014 Directors’ Cup standings (38th) was the second-best in school history and best in the state of Iowa for the third year consecutively.
Student-athletes have registered a higher grade-point average than undergrads in seven of the last 10 years and Iowa State has placed in the Top 50 of the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup three seasons in a row (ISU was 123rd and 107th the years before Pollard came to Ames).
Here are some other major landmark achievements of the Pollard administration:
- Invested more than $160 million in new construction and facility renovation;
- Secured a $25 million gift from the Reiman family – the largest ever received by ISU Athletics – that will help fund a south end zone enclosure and campus beautification project;
- Iowa State has set season attendance records in its five major sports;
- The department launched a one-of-a-kind cable and digital TV network (Cyclones.tv) that showcases Iowa State Athletics;
- The Cyclones have built a stable financial base and, most importantly, eliminated its dependence on state funding;
- Assembled, arguably, the strongest coaching staff in ISU history.
A former national champion long-distance runner at UW-Oshkosh (where he is in the school’s athletics Hall of Fame), Pollard channeled his competitive drive into an athletics administration career. Prior to arrival at ISU he served in various athletic administrative capacities at Wisconsin, Maryland and Saint Louis.
He received a 2003 Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal “Top Forty Under 40” award, the first college administrator honored. Pollard has served as chair of the Big 12 Athletics Directors Committee and as President of the Division 1A Athletics Directors Association.
Jamie and his wife, Ellen, have four children. The family’s local philanthropic efforts have benefitted Blank Children’s Hospital, Variety Children’s Charity and United Way of Central Iowa.