Pollard named Iowa State athletics director

Barry Alvarez's right-hand man in the UW athletics department heads to Ames

The University of Wisconsin lost an invaluable member of its athletic department staff Monday. Jamie Pollard, Wisconsin's deputy athletics director, has been hired as the athletics director at Iowa State University.

On Monday, Iowa State President Gregory Geoffroy announced Pollard's hiring, which becomes effective Oct. 1. Pollard replaces former athletics director Bruce Van De Velde, who announced his resignation Aug. 8.

Pollard, 40, has been at Wisconsin since 1998. He was named the deputy athletics director in 2003, giving him responsibility for the overall administration, which encompasses 23 sports and $72 million. He was also the department's chief financial officer, senior associate athletics director, and the sports administrator for men's and women's basketball.

"I'm happy for he and his family," Wisconsin athletics director and head coach Barry Alvarez said. "He did a tremendous job for me and the university and I'll always be indebted to him for what he did for us."

Pollard was Alvarez' right-hand man, someone who made decisions when Alvarez was not present to do so himself.

"He's someone that I can rely on," Alvarez said. "I told senior staff and everyone else, if I wasn't there, whatever Jamie's decision was, Jamie's voice was my voice."

Pollard, during his career at Wisconsin, was instrumental in a $110 million renovation of Camp Randall Stadium and the building of the Porter Boathouse and Goodman Diamond. Under his watch, most of Wisconsin's athletics teams have enjoyed postseason success and football, men's basketball, women's basketball and men's hockey have all sold out games. Pollard helped to increase the athletics department's operating reserve to $15 million.

Alvarez said during his weekly Monday press conference that he learned of Pollard's new job Sunday, just after Pollard accepted the Iowa State job. Alvarez said that the university will begin a search but there was no timetable currently in place for naming a replacement. Alvarez said that his primary focus this week will be on Wisconsin's game against Michigan Saturday evening in Madison.

"We'll absorb Jamie's loss and move forward," Alvarez said. "I'm not going to get real wrapped up in it this week." Pollard has garnered several honors in his relatively young career. He received Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal's "Top Forty Under 40" award in 2003, which is given to the most influential and creative individuals in athletics under age 40. He was also the 2002 Business Manager of the Year, as selected by the Collegiate Athletic Business Managers Association.

"Jamie Pollard has done an outstanding job at Wisconsin, and he is widely recognized for his management achievements and his creativity," Geoffroy said. "We are extremely pleased that he has chosen to become a Cyclone and lead our athletics program."

At Iowa State, Pollard will oversee 18 athletic teams and a $29 million athletics program. Pollard, according to Geoffroy, signed a five-year contract with a base salary of $275,000, plus annual incentives up to $75,000. If he remains at Iowa State for five years or more, he receives an additional $50,000 per year in deferred compensation.

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