Joe Parker, a proven athletics administrator with experience at some of the nation’s finest collegiate programs, was hired as the new athletics director at Colorado State University by President Tony Frank on March 17, 2015.
Parker, who has been the deputy athletics director at Texas Tech of the Big 12 Conference since April 2011, also has served as senior associate A.D. at the University of Michigan (Big 10), the University of Oklahoma (Big 12), Washington State University (Pac-12) and the University of Texas (Big 12).
In just his first year in Fort Collins, Parker oversaw tremendous success by the Rams’ athletics programs in competition, and continued growth of Colorado State Athletics. CSU’s volleyball and women’s basketball programs both went undefeated in their 18 Mountain West contests during the 2015-16 academic year, making CSU just the fourth schools in NCAA history to have dual undefeated conferences, and the first time in school history. The CSU football team qualified for its third consecutive bowl game in 2015, and the Rams have claimed five total MW championships since Parker’s hire.
In Parker’s tenure he also has signed an extension of Colorado State’s multi-year agreement with Under Armour to be its official apparel provider through 2021, as well an enhanced, long-term multimedia rights partnership with Learfield, both of which position Colorado State for continued growth in its profile and stature nationally. Parker also continues to guide the athletics department through the construction of CSU’s new 41,000-capacity on-campus stadium set to open to in 2017.
During Parker’s time as deputy A.D. at Texas Tech he oversaw a Big 12 Conference program with 17 teams and an annual budget of $68.5 million. Under Parker’s leadership in building excitement and engagement among Red Raider fans, the university achieved first-ever sellouts for football season tickets and broke attendance records in football, men’s basketball and baseball. In addition, Parker has been involved in all Title IX and Gender Equity issues at Texas Tech. During his tenure as deputy A.D., Parker also led programs to boost the classroom success of student-athletes and led the development and recent launch of a current $185 million fundraising campaign.
At Michigan, highlights of Parker’s eight-year tenure (2003-11) included serving on a four-person team that was responsible for more than $400 million in infrastructure improvements, including the renovation and creation of new revenue opportunities at Michigan Stadium, known as “The Big House.” Parker helped secure $14 million in annual gift revenue and more than $31 million in major gifts to support the stadium renovation project, lauded as one of the premier renovation projects in the country. Parker joined his alma mater in 2003 as associate athletics director for development and was promoted in 2006 to senior associate athletics director for development and corporate relations.
At the University of Texas (1994-98), Washington State (1998-99) and the University of Oklahoma (2000-03), Parker led successful efforts in annual giving, season-ticket sales and premium seating programs, and also was involved in facilities development and renovation projects.
While with the Sooners, Parker provided leadership support for a $120 million capital campaign for athletic facility improvements. Additionally, he designed and implemented a new premium seating program, which funded 70-percent of the $75 million football stadium renovation.
Parker was a three-time All-America swimmer at Michigan, and also became team captain. He earned a gold and bronze medal as a senior in the 1987 World University Games in Zagreb, Yugoslavia. Parker earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan, and an M.B.A. from the University of Texas. He and his wife, Jennie, have two children, Emma and Will.