CMU Chooses Alford

May 16, 2017

Michael Alford, a senior executive with a history of fundraising and marketing in college and professional athletics, today was named associate vice president and director of athletics at Central Michigan University.

The announcement from President George E. Ross comes three days after interviews concluded with four finalists.

“Michael Alford has demonstrated leadership in Division I athletics in the Power 5 conferences and in the NFL. He’s worked with coaches, students and athletic supporters,” Ross said.

“I’ve said all along we would name an athletics director who is committed to furthering our championship culture, who agrees athletes are students first, and who has an unwavering commitment to upholding CMU's reputation as one of just 13 universities without a major NCAA violation,” he said. “Michael Alford is a leader who represents all that CMU is, who is an excellent fundraiser and who will be an integral member of the CMU community."

Alford, currently the senior associate athletics director for administration and development at the University of Oklahoma, replaces Dave Heeke, who left CMU on April 1 to become the vice president of athletics at the University of Arizona.

Alford’s first official day with CMU Athletics will be July 3. Marcy Weston has served as the interim director of athletics since April 3.

Alford, 47, was the senior director for corporate partnerships and sales for the Dallas Cowboys from 2008 to 2012, and he was the general manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing at the University of Alabama from 2004-2008. He also has worked for ESPN, the University of Southern California, the Cincinnati Bengals and the University of Cincinnati.

At Oklahoma, Alford leads development, marketing, oversees several sports, is part of the Title IX, gender equity and diversity and inclusion teams, negotiates corporate sponsorship agreements and helps manage master plans for facilities.

“I’ve been fortunate to have a broad-based career with championship organizations, and I’ve had the chance to work for the very best people,” Alford said. “Joe Castiglione here at Oklahoma is such a natural leader, and Mal Moore at Alabama is somebody I often emulate. My mentors taught me a lot about entrepreneurship, negotiations and building a championship culture.”

Alford, the seventh athletics director at CMU since 1940, will be introduced at a press conference on Thursday, June 8 in the John G. Kulhavi Events Center. He also will attend the annual Chippewa Challenge golf fundraiser on Friday, June 9.

“I’m so excited to be a part of Central Michigan University,” Alford said. “The university’s reputation extends well beyond the Mid-American Conference. I saw the NCAA academic progress rates released a few days ago, and to see the golf and lacrosse teams have a perfect 1,000 score and five other programs at 990 or higher shows we can compete with anybody on the field and in the classroom.”

Alford recently planned and managed a $160 million end zone facility project at Oklahoma, and he led several capital campaigns, such as one for a $7 million basketball performance center that will open in 2018.

“Athletics are an important part of the total CMU experience, expanding bonds among students, faculty and staff, with our community, and with alumni and donors,” Ross said. “Michael has the expertise to advance our game on the revenue side, while keeping the focus on leadership, integrity and excellence on the field and court, in academics and in serving others.”

Joe Castiglione, University of Oklahoma vice president and director of athletics, praised Alford and predicted a strong future for him and CMU’s athletic department.

"Michael will bring a great deal of energy and passion while building meaningful relationships for Central Michigan University. He's skilled and uniquely qualified, but most of all, he will make the best and right decisions centered around core values, the quality of the student-athlete experience and the vast Chippewa family he now represents," Castiglione said. Alford’s wife, Laura, played volleyball at Hawaii and coached at Cincinnati. Their daughter, Audrey Alford, is a sophomore volleyball player at Oklahoma. Daughters Ashley, 16, and Anna Leigh, 13, also play volleyball.  

From New World Of Coaching
Having mentors can be invaluable to your career and professional growth. While some mentors may simply “appear” in your life, there may be others whom you have to seek out. The following thoughts should help you find your next career guide.
SEARCH for Products
SEARCH for Vendors

Fundraising Made Easy

  For many coaches, fundraising comes with the job. And while they may be well-versed in leadership, teaching, and the skills of their sports, many of them have little experience trying to raise money for their programs. Fortunately, The Locker Room is there to help coaches support their teams. The Locker Room is a social … CLICK TO READ MORE...

You Will Rock with Med Bags that Roll

Whether you’re trying to scoot through an airport terminal to catch a flight or make your way to a remote practice field, a wheeled med bag can help you reach your destination with everything you need. Bushwalker Bags has the right bag for whatever your environments require. Bushwalker Bags’ Wheeled Deluxe Med Bag includes a removable … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Your Answer for Activity-Specific Equipment

While there is certainly a need for general strength and fitness training, there comes a time when you have to focus on activity-specific training if you want to help athletes be their best. After all, swimmers have different needs than distance runners who are different than hockey players and so on. With so many different … CLICK TO READ MORE...

University of Wyoming Upgrades With FieldTurf

Five years removed from the unveiling of their new FieldTurf surface on Jonah Field at War Memorial Stadium, the University of Wyoming’s athletics department recently lifted the veil on its newest upgrade, a new FieldTurf practice field at their indoor facility. University of Wyoming officials opted for FieldTurf Vertex Prime, a hybrid of monofilament & slit-film … CLICK TO READ MORE...

Free Guide to Understanding Training Loads

One of the biggest advances brought about by the rise of sport science technology has been the ability to better measure and track an athlete’s training load. But what is training load? And how can knowing more about it help coaches improve athlete performance? To help teach people more abut this important subject, Firstbeat Sports … CLICK TO READ MORE...

VIEW MORE ARTICLES

Stay at the Top of Your Game!
x
Receive articles like this by signing up for our newsletters