CSU Director of Athletics Paul Kowalczyk has signed a five-year contract extension worth almost $1.13 million, university officials announced Monday.
The extension takes effect July 1 and ends June 30, 2015. Kowalczyk will not receive a pay raise toÂ his annual $225,000 base salary.
â€œWe are very pleased Paul has agreed to lead Colorado State athletics for at least another five years,â€ said CSU President Tony Frank in a press release.
â€œPaul has accomplished a great deal as AD, and he has clearly proven you can win with class, while focusing foremost on educating student-athletes. Heâ€™s a person of character and integrity who represents Ram athletics well on campus, as well as nationally and within the conference.â€
Hired in April 2006, Kowalczyk has improved the culture surrounding CSU athletics, Athletic leaders said, starting with the coaching hires in three of the programâ€™s higher profile sports â€“â€“ Tim Miles for menâ€™s basketball, Steve Fairchild for football and Kristen Holt for womenâ€™s basketball.
He also helped convince volleyball coach Tom Hilbert to remain at CSU a year ago after CU-Boulder offered him a job, retaining the most successful coach in CSU volleyball history.
Under Kowalczykâ€™s leadership, CSU opened two state-of-the-art athletics facilities during the summer of 2009, marking the most extensive athletics facilities campaign at CSU in four decades. The facilities include the 66,267-sqaure-foot Indoor Practice Facility and the new Academic and Training Center.
Kowalczyk attributes the success of his first four years to the people he works with.
â€œThe bottom line is people. We have really good support from the board and the president and donors in the community,â€ Kowalczyk told the Collegian.
But the accomplishment heâ€™s most proud of thus far?
â€œMaking it through these first four years,â€ he joked. â€œBut really there are two: changing the culture of the universityâ€™s athletic program and putting together a coaching staff I believe will result in an extremely successful and special program.â€
Kowalczyk has ambitious goals for the athletic department including a No. 1 ranking in the Directorâ€™s Cup, a ranking system that reflects overall program success; an annual Bowl Champion Series appearance by the football team and regular NCAA Tournament participation by both the menâ€™s and womenâ€™s basketball teams.
â€œIf those arenâ€™t your goals as an athletic program, then I shouldnâ€™t be working,â€ he said.
Kowalczyk said the most important part of building a first-class athletics program is ensuring the athletes succeed in the classroom.
â€œWe have high expectations of success, including the academic success of our student-athletes,â€ Kowalczyk said. â€œWe are proud of the achievements of our student-athletes in athletic competition and in the classroom and believe these experiences will prepare them well to be successful in life well beyond their time at CSU.â€
Sport writer Stephen Meyers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.