When Terry Tumey was officially introduced as Fresno State’s director of athletics during the summer, excitement abounded for the future of the school’s athletic program.
Fresno State hired Tumey after a long search to replace interim director of athletics Steve Robertello, who had taken over that role after the tumultuous ending to Steve Bartko’s tenure .Bartko resigned and later claimed that he was forced out by Fresno State administration officials.
Tumey brings athletic honors with him to his new job. He was a standout college football player at UCLA from 1984-87, during which he was named All-Pacific-10 Conference defensive lineman three times.
At UCLA, Tumey earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with an emphasis on business economics and a master’s degree in sports administration with a focus on entrepreneurship and strategy from the prestigious Anderson School of Management in 1993.
Speaking to The Collegian, Tumey said he believes that has provided him a unique perspective that can help him relate to student athletes in a way others perhaps may not be able to.
“I can relate to some of the stresses that a student athlete faces, balancing classes, trying to balance your time, trying to make sure that there’s a life after your playing days and trying to take some of the same principles that you learned from playing in terms of your work and dedication toward a goal and try to relate that to what you do in other facets of your life,” Tumey said.
And Tumey knows the challenges of student-athletes from his previous experiences working in sports administration at other schools in California.
Before making his way to Fresno State, Tumey honed his skills as an administrator at Claremont-Mudd-Scripps, a unified Division III athletic program including the schools Claremont Mckenna College, Harvey Mudd College and Scripps College, and eventually made an impact at UC Davis, all as the director of athletics.
At UC Davis, Tumey showed off one of his biggest strengths as an administrator, one that could prove vitally important to his success or failure at Fresno State–working with a budget and raising money.
Tumey helped expand the profile of the school, both regionally and nationally, and secured funding in excess of $11 million to support student achievements.
In addition, Tumey supervised all fiscal responsibilities as director of football administration, which carried a budget of $35 million.
At Fresno State, he will undertake the task of finding adequate financial support for 21 athletic programs in a $37 million budget.
Despite the well-documented financial stress that the athletics program has been under, Tumey said there is no real threat, as of now, to cut any sports at Fresno State.
“We’ve been in an environment of cutting programs which has happened in the last, I would say, five to 10 years. You know Fresno State has has kind of what the opposite. So I don’t think Fresno State is in the business of cutting programs,” he said
Fresno State President Dr. Joseph I. Castro gave a ringing endorsement to Tumey and his capabilities in financial management and his leadership ability in a statement.
“Terry Tumey serves as an excellent role model and mentor for our talented student-athletes, having been a successful student-athlete himself at UCLA. He also has a distinguished record of accomplishments in Division 1, 2 and 3 athletics programs, which points to his significant experience with all aspects of the job, including fundraising and financial management,” Castro said.