"In Mark Driscoll, we have a person with a very unique set of skills. He understands athletics, he has a proven business acumen and he is a true Ram fan," Penley said. "Taken as a whole, it became obvious to me that Mark is the right choice. His skills are the perfect complement to the existing strengths of the athletic program, and I'm confident that under his leadership Colorado State athletics will achieve even greater heights."
Driscoll, who earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees from Colorado State, was the quarterback on the Rams' team that led the nation in passing in 1974. After graduation, he served as an assistant coach before moving into the banking industry, where he has risen to the presidency of First National Bank, one of the state's leading financial institutions. Last year, Driscoll served as color commentator on Ram football broadcasts for the Colorado State Sports Network.
Driscoll was awarded a prestigious NCAA post-graduate scholarship in 1976. After his playing career at Colorado State, he had stints in the National Football League with the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys.
"To say I am excited is an understatement. I have a great deal of affection and loyalty to Colorado State University and am proud to be a Ram," Driscoll said. "To be able to come back to my alma mater -- and to use some of the knowledge and skills I've acquired over the years in the business community to serve the athletic program -- is the opportunity of a lifetime. I'm thrilled and humbled by that opportunity and responsibility."
Driscoll, a La Junta native who came to Fort Collins 32 years ago when he enrolled at the university, has agreed to a five-year contract that will pay $220,000 annually.
Driscoll and Penley met with students, faculty, staff and athletic department staff today in advance of the announcement.
As part of the national search, Penley interviewed several candidates before offering the position to Driscoll.
"Athletics is an important connection to our alumni and friends and a real opportunity to showcase the high level of academic and athletic excellence here at Colorado State," Penley said. "Mark Driscoll is going to be a key member of the university's leadership team, and I'm very excited to be working with a person of his intelligence, integrity and experience."
Driscoll and his wife Neyla, also a Colorado State graduate, have three children.