JONESBORO, AR (ASU) — Arkansas State University Athletics Director Terry Mohajir has been awarded a new four-year contract through June 30, 2019, in recognition of his leadership and accomplishments, Chancellor Tim Hudson announced today.
Mohajir joined A-State in September 2012, and since that time the Red Wolves have enjoyed unprecedented overall success academically, competitively and financially, Hudson said.
"Terry has provided extraordinary leadership in growing the Red Wolves brand and prioritizing our student-athletes in all his decisions," Hudson said. "His work with the coaching staff, operations, fund-raising and facilities planning has elevated Arkansas State and positioned us for even greater success in the years to come. We appreciate all of his contributions and are pleased with this mutual commitment for the future."
Hudson said the new contract was offered after a thorough review that included constituent input and is consistent with Arkansas State's overall efforts to be competitive in the Sun Belt Conference, and in the NCAA's "Group of Five" conferences in regard to student-athlete services, facilities, budget and compensation.
"Terry and his team have increased the Athletics Department operating budget by more than 30 percent through increased ticket sales, sponsorships and private fund-raising," Hudson said. "His vision for a stadium expansion plan that will enhance the fan experience and his focus on preparing student-athletes for academic success and life beyond sports dovetail with A-State's drive to be a destination university."
Mohajir said he is grateful to Hudson and ASU System President Chuck Welch for their confidence and support.
"When Dr. Hudson approached me about a contract extension, I was very appreciative of his and Dr. Welch's confidence in the direction of our program," said Mohajir. "Without their leadership and commitment to athletics, we wouldn't have the nationally-emerging program we have today. This is an exciting time to be a part of Dr. Hudson's bold and global vision for Arkansas State University.
"I was immediately humbled knowing this was a tribute to all the wonderful accomplishments by our student-athletes, coaches and administrative staff, and our strong initiatives are becoming a reality because of our loyal and passionate fan base. Now is the time we need all stakeholder's relentless effort and energy to drive forward and accomplish what we have set out to do, which is to be one of the top programs among our peers in the Group of Five."
Last year, A-State enjoyed its highest ever finish in the prestigious Learfield Sports Director's Cup standings, ranking No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference and No. 83 in the nation among 297 schools. The Red Wolves' finish not only set a school record, it topped the program's previous high of No. 134 set in 1999-2000 by 51 places. The women's athletics program claimed its highest finish ever in the Capital One Cup standings, earning a prestigious top-50 award for ranking No. 44 among all NCAA Division I programs in the nation. The No. 44 ranking was the highest ever by a Sun Belt Conference women's program.
Academic performance reached an all-time high each of the last two fall semesters, including 2014 when A-State's student-athletes achieved a 3.047 all-department GPA that was the highest in school history. The football program's APR score showed the largest margin of improvement in the nation among FBS programs, jumping from 902 to 964.
The Red Wolves Leadership Academy Program was designed by Mohajir with the sole purpose to obtain 100 percent job placement for all the athletics department's student-athletes upon graduation, and that key initiative was achieved.
During Mohajir's tenure, A-State has completed, is in the process of completing and has committed a combined $60 million in construction and facility renovations. The Red Wolves Foundation received a $5 million gift commitment from alumnus Johnny Allison for a renovation for its "Centennial Expansion," and it is the largest individual donation in A-State Athletics history.
Other facility enhancements have been made to Centennial Bank Stadium, as well as the installation of a state-of-the-art LED video display scoreboard in the stadium's south end zone. The weight room, locker room and training room located inside the A-State Football Facility have all been renovated, while the Convocation Center has undergone changes such as new seating and updates to the locker rooms and weight room.
Committed to Title IX and gender-equity initiatives, A-State has worked to improve coaching staff sizes and salaries, operation funding and facilities under Mohajir. Among the upgrades, A-State is nearing the completion of a new women's soccer and women's tennis facility, which will house both squads' locker rooms, training room and more.
The athletics department's budget increased 31 percent from fiscal year 2012-13 to 2013-14, and Mohajir's goal to reach a $20 million operating budget after five years was achieved in just two years. Under Mohajir's watch, A-State Athletics placed seventh nationally in the 2013 Excellence in Management Cup, which annually reviews the nation's athletics departments in regards to maximizing fiscal resources while providing results in the form of championship victories.