Jun 192007
Authors: Mike Donovan

There are hardly any jobs in this world that have a higher turnover rate than the position of CSU Athletic Director.

The only two occupations that I can think of are Prime Minister of Italy or starting tailback for the Denver Broncos.

With that being said, the current director Paul Kowalczyk seems like he may break the trend of ADs, who seem to always leave CSU for greener pastures. But Kowalczyk, whose 400ths day in office is Thursday, has made both big and small decisions that have improved CSU athletics since his arrival last year.

Kowalczyk’s decisions show of a man who values both tradition and trend-setting. Any administration can be judged on its overall merits by small decisions and this is something that Kowalczyk has nailed on the head.

From moving the Border War to the last game of the season to put it alongside other college football rivalries to going with throwback uniforms for the football’s team’s home opener, AD K is trying to make a difference.

There is an old saying in life, “if ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well CSU Athletic Department was broken and now the man in charge is working on it.

The most public move Kowalczyk made was firing of Head Coach Dale Layer and replacing him with the charismatic Tim Miles.

This move was long overdue for multiple reasons – but especially because of how detrimental Layer seemed to be to NBAer Jason Smith’s development.

And CSU fans are not the only ones that noticed.

The national Web site, DraftExpress.com, says about Smith’s weaknesses, “Smith’s footwork, balance, decision-making, fundamentals, and more are all very much underdeveloped, as if he didn’t receive very much coaching at all in college.”

And not only did Kowalczyk rid CSU of Layer, he hit jackpot with Miles, who is seemingly everything Layer was not.

Miles is personable, charismatic, and an Xs-and-Os coach, three descriptions that would never have been placed on Layer.

But the biggest reason Kowalczyk will be able to put CSU on the national sports map and be here for a long time was a simple move made last week. When it was released that CSU would wear throwback uniforms against Cal in its home opener, I knew Kowalczyk would be a great fit.

Some readers might not understand why this is such a big deal, but it proves Kowalczyk both wants the players to fun and that he wants to get a positive buzz around CSU athletics.

Whatever the reason, though, fans love throwback jerseys.

After years of no excitement from within the athletic department, it seems strange to have an athletic director who is actually tapped in to what students might like.

In 400 days, Kowalczyk has gotten the ball rolling towards change and while his job isn’t finished, I have a suspicion that we will have a while to find out how good his tenure will really be.

Mike Donovan is a Year and major. His column appears occasionally in the summer Collegian edition. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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