Tuesday March 17th, 2015

Joe Parker will take over as the new athletic director at Colorado State, the school announced on Tuesday.

Parker has come to Fort Collins after spending the last four years as deputy athletic director at Texas Tech.

He will replace Jack Graham, who was fired in August by university president Tony Frank after a series of disagreements over management of the department.

“Colorado State is an institution on the rise and gaining a great deal of attention nationally for its athletic success and for the new facilities it is developing, particularly the on-campus stadium,” Parker said in a press release. “Even more important, Colorado State is widely known as an outstanding academic institution.

“That’s a great combination and I’m thrilled to be joining the Ram family. The future is bright indeed for CSU and I am very happy to be able to play a role in helping to build on the success for the benefit of the entire university and community.”

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Parker has an athletic background himself as a three-time All-American swimmer at Michigan. A gold and bronze medalist at the 1987 World University Games, he earned a master’s degree at the University of Texas in 1994 while working in the athletic department as a development manager.

From 1998 to 2000, he served as Washington State’s director of annual giving, after which he worked as director of the Sooner Club at Oklahoma from 2000-2003. He was an associate athletic director and senior associate athletic director at Michigan from 2003 until he joined Texas Tech in 2011.

John Morris, Graham’s top assistant, had been serving as interim athletic director and was a candidate for the permanent position until he accepted the job of athletic director at Tufts.

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CSU's athletic department is poised to undertake the construction of a new stadium, slated to open in 2017, backed by $242 million in bonds approved by the CSU board of governors in 2014.

- Phil Watson

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