JULY 19, 2001 - John Easterbrook, director of athletics at Cal State Fullerton since 1994, has announced his plans to retire this fall. He will serve on the search committee to name his successor.
"We have created an excellent sports family at Cal State Fullerton, and I will miss the association with my colleagues very much," said Easterbrook. "I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family," added the grandfather of five, "and to mornings on the golf course."
Under Easterbrook's leadership, the graduation rate of CSUF student-athletes has improved, athletics facilities have been enhanced and funding for scholarships has increased for the17-team Titan intercollegiate athletics program.
"John Easterbrook has created a winning environment for student-athletes," said Cal State Fullerton President Milton A. Gordon. "This extends from the playing fields to the classroom. His firm commitment to academic achievement has really made a difference," he added, noting that the NCAA's most recent graduation report cited CSUF's highest graduation rate for student-athletes since the NCAA began tracking these statistics.
During his tenure, five Titan teams have reached NCAA quarterfinals, and theTitan baseball team captured its third College World Series title, in 1995. The Titans were back in Omaha again this spring before finishing third in the national polls.
Cal State Fullerton scored points in more sports -- six -- than any Big West Conference rival in NCAA championship competition in the 2000-01 academic year. The Titans' showing put them back atop the average rankings over the eight-year period of the annual Sears' Cup Standings sponsored by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
Among other CSUF career highlights, Easterbrook oversaw a multimillion-dollar expansion of the Titan softball and baseball facilities. The seating capacity at Goodwin Field has increased by more than 1,500, which led to the selection of Cal State Fullerton as the host for the 2000 and 2001 NCAA Baseball Regionals and the 2001 NCAA Super Regional.
In addition, Easterbrook helped negotiate the renovation of the Hetebrink house, now known as Titan House. One of the original structures on campus, it now houses the athletic administration offices. He also advocated for planned renovations to Titan Gymnasium -- slated to include the addition of a practice facility and office space.
Nationally, Easterbrook served on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee from 1996-2000, and he is a member of the Big West Conference Council.
Before coming to Fullerton, Easterbrook was senior associate athletic director at Fresno State and president and CEO of American National Bank in Wyoming. He coached college football for 13 seasons at Idaho, Oregon State, Illinois and Wyoming. He was a three-year starter at quarterback and also played two seasons of basketball at the University of Illinois, where he earned a bachelor's degree in commerce and law. Easterbrook was named the Most Valuable Player of the1960 Copper Bowl All Star Team and received the Earl Blaik NCAA Postgraduate Scholar Athlete Award that same year. He went on to attend the University of Illinois Law School.
The Champaign, Illinois, native and his wife, Cynthia, are making plans for life in their new home in Palm Springs.