Richard Duran

CarrSports Search - University of the Incarnate Word Chooses Richard Duran as AD

IN THE NEWS

CarrSports Search - University of the Incarnate Word chooses Richard Duran as Athletic Director

" "Throughout my time at UIW I have come to realize that this University is not only where I want to be, it is where I am supposed to be. It isn't every day that you are able to work at an institution whose values so closely align with your own.”

Richard Duran, Athletic Director University of the Incarnate Word

SAN ANTONIO – University of the Incarnate Word President Dr. Thomas M. Evans, announced today that interim Athletic Director Richard Duran has been elevated to the permanent role of athletic director. In his new role, Duran becomes the youngest sitting Division I athletic director. Duran, who came to UIW as the deputy athletics director responsible for all external functions of the department in October 2017, took over the interim position on Aug. 12, 2019. CarrSports Consulting assisted with the search.

“As interim athletic director, Richard demonstrated his willingness to work with all campus partners not only for the benefit of the athletics department but for the University as a whole,” said Evans. “He showed us his ability to lead, his dedication to his staff, to our student athletes and to our UIW Mission. In these last 10 months, Richard Duran truly earned the privilege of being named UIW’s Athletic Director.”

Under Duran’s leadership, UIW Athletics had tremendous success in the classroom, in the community, in competition, in revenue generation and in fan engagement. He guided a team of 80 full-time employees, five part-time employees, 35 graduate assistants and 18 work study students in creating a holistic and positive experience for more than 500 student-athletes.

“I would like to thank Dr. Evans, Michael Larkin, Chief Development Officer and Vice-President for External Affairs, and the University leadership for the incredible opportunity to lead the UIW Athletics Department into the future,” said Duran. “Throughout my time at UIW I have come to realize that this University is not only where I want to be, it is where I am supposed to be. It isn’t every day that you are able to work at an institution whose values so closely align with your own.

“I am excited to come to work every day and help our student-athletes become champions in the classroom, in the community and in competition. I am humbled for this opportunity and thankful for the commitment of our student-athletes, department, campus community and supporters. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. UIW is an amazing community made up of incredible people, and I look forward to continuing to work as a team to provide the best student-athlete experience possible.”

The UIW Athletics department, in alignment with the University’s core values, has placed a heavy emphasis on service and giving back to the community. Over the 2019-20 academic year, the Cardinals completed a department record 6,051.5 hours of community service across 70 organizations in San Antonio. Classes were moved online following spring break, but the Cardinals were still able to complete 347.5 hours of community service in the fourth quarter of the year.

Academically, in the fall, UIW student-athletes posted a cumulative GPA of 3.24 and a semester GPA of 3.26. In the Spring, despite the sudden transition to online classes following spring break, UIW student-athletes achieved a department cumulative GPA of 3.33 and a department semester GPA of 3.56.

In November, the department announced that for the 2018-19 academic year, 20 Cardinal sports earned a combined single-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of 991, a program-high mark since becoming Division I. Men’s basketball’s academics improved dramatically from 2017-18 to 2018-19, going from an 839 APR from the 2017-18 academic year to a perfect 1,000 in 2018-19. Additionally, in May 2020, men’s tennis and women’s cross country earned the Public Recognition Award for their perfect multiyear APR scores during the 2018-19 academic year.

Two women’s teams enjoyed their best year of Southland Conference competition during the 2019-20 season. Women’s soccer notched more wins in Fall 2019 alone than in the past three seasons combined (2016-18). With a 7-4 mark in Southland Conference play, the Cardinals qualified for the Southland Conference Tournament for the first time in program history.

Women’s basketball, led by first-year head coach Jeff Dow, had nine more wins in 2019-20 than the Cardinals had in 2018-19 and earned the first berth to the Southland Conference Tournament in program history.

The men’s basketball team improved from one Southland Conference win in 2018-19 to six in 2019-20 under second-year coach Dr. Carson Cunningham. UIW also had its first Southland Conference Freshman of the Year in Keaston Willis. The men’s swimming and diving team won the 2020 Coastal Collegiate Sports Association Conference Championship, marking its third consecutive title.

Under Duran, the Cardinals Club annual fund program saw record numbers in both memberships and revenue. Since 2016-17 (the year prior to Duran’s arrival at UIW), Cardinals Club membership is up by 626.1 percent and Cardinals Club revenue is up by 1,033.8 percent. The department also set a record for athletics giving as part of the campus-wide Day of Giving campaign in February 2020.

Likewise, athletic sponsorships reached new heights in 2019-20. UIW Athletics had a record number of athletic sponsors and boasted record revenues. Since 2017-18, the department has increased its number of sponsors by 540 percent, while revenues have risen by 256.7 percent. Athletic department ticketing numbers have also seen a significant rise under Duran. Despite 37 events being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UIW Athletics set numerous ticketing records in 2019-20, including a new overall ticket revenue mark. Since 2017-18, ticket sale revenue has increased by 61.8 percent.

In addition, UIW Athletics has placed an emphasis on enhancing the fan experience. The marketing department more than doubled the number of giveaways, in-game contests and on-field recognitions during the 2019-20 season. During the 2018 football season, the department launched the UIW Fan Zone. The 2019 homecoming game saw an all-time high 34 elements in the Fan Zone, a 112.5 percent increase from year one.

The department has also taken strides to increase student attendance at games, releasing the Red’s Rewards app in January 2019. The app, which is available to all UIW students and has rewards available for points earned by checking in at athletic events, experienced a 170.1 percent increase in users from the end of year one to the end of year two.

Since Duran’s arrival in 2017-18, UIW Athletics has increased its social media presence, leading to larger numbers of followers on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The main accounts on Twitter (88.9 percent), Facebook (116.4 percent) and Instagram (145.4 percent) have seen major increases. During the 2019-20 season alone, individual sports accounts rose by 41.4 percent on Twitter and by 67.6 percent on Instagram.

Under Duran’s guidance in August 2019, the athletics department collaborated with UTSA to co-host the River Rally Parade, bringing the City of San Antonio together prior to the first football game between the two schools in program history. Athletics also partnered with the University Office of Communications and Brand Marketing and the Division of Development and University Relations to successfully host the Cardinal Takeover Pre-Game Party on Aug. 31 around the game.

In 2019-20, video production saw a 144.7 percent increase in the number of events streamed since 2016-17. Over the past 10 months, 93 events were streamed. This was one fewer event than in 2018-19, despite 37 events being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duran arrived at UIW after a year and a half as the Director of Development at California State University, Los Angeles. Prior to working with the Golden Eagles, he spent three years at the University of Louisiana, Monroe (ULM) where he started as the Director of Marketing & Event Management before being promoted to the Assistant Athletics Director of External Relations.

Duran went to ULM after a stint as the Assistant Director of Athletics Development at the University of California, Riverside. He began his career in intercollegiate athletics with the Big West Conference as a Championships/Marketing Assistant.

Duran was a four-year letter winner in football at Whittier College in Whittier, California. He graduated with distinction, earning a Bachelor of Arts in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport management in 2011. In 2013, Duran received a Master of Arts in sport management from the University of San Francisco. He is currently pursuing his doctorate and working on his dissertation at Louisiana Tech University.

The Montebello, California native is a 2007 alumnus of Schurr High School.

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CarrSports Consulting has over 20 years of experience in executive searches and management consulting services for intercollegiate athletics. Their portfolio includes more than 130 successful leadership searches and 70 intensely focused management consulting projects conducted from coast to coast, providing clients with outstanding service and best options for meaningful solutions.

 


CarrSports partners with NJCAA as a Preferred Sports Consulting Provider

IN THE NEWS

CarrSports partners with NJCAA as a Preferred Sports Consulting Provider

"The NJCAA is pleased to partner with CarrSports Consulting and their team who can provide services in areas that are crucial to our member colleges,” stated NJCAA President and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker. “Their proven quality and experience will be beneficial for our membership and for all initiatives moving forward.”

National Junior College Athletic Association Forms Partnership with CarrSports Consulting

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – CarrSports Consulting is pleased to announce a partnership with the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) that will make CarrSports the Preferred Sports Consulting Partner of the NJCAA.

Among the services and deliverables to be provided by CarrSports to the 500 NJCAA member schools are executive searches, business planning, fiscal management, feasibility studies, operations reviews, strategic planning and Title IX assessments. The partnership with the NJCAA adds yet another high-profile client to the CarrSports portfolio from across the country.

“The NJCAA is pleased to partner with CarrSports Consulting and their team who can provide services in areas that are crucial to our member colleges,” stated NJCAA President and CEO Dr. Christopher Parker. “Their proven quality and experience will be beneficial for our membership and for all initiatives moving forward.”

Bill Carr“CarrSports Consulting is very pleased to now have the NJCAA as a Preferred Sports Consulting Partner,” Carr Sports President Bill Carr said. “We recognize the nationwide role and significant impact the organization has on such a large number of institutions, student-athletes and cities. We look forward to working with them to increase their effective outreach and services.”

Mike Thomas“CarrSports is extremely excited to partner with the NJCAA and their member institutions in the areas of executive search and management consulting,” CarrSports Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Thomas said. “The NJCAA continues to serve as a national leader in intercollegiate athletics and we look forward to providing exceptional service and expertise to their 500 member schools and the 60,000 student-athletes represented by the NJCAA.”

Founded in 1938, the NJCAA promotes and fosters a national program of athletic participation for two-year colleges in an environment that supports equitable opportunities consistent with the educational objectives of member colleges. The NJCAA has played a vital role in collegiate athletics for the past eight decades and continues to be the leader in championing academic and athletic opportunities for student-athletes.

Learn more about the National Junior College Athletic Association at NJCAA.org


Former Conference Commissioner Karl Benson Joins CarrSports Consulting

IN THE NEWS

Former Conference Commissioner Karl Benson Joins CarrSports Consulting

“I am really looking forward to joining the team at CarrSports Consulting and working with many of my friends and former colleagues to navigate the many issues that face intercollegiate athletics in the coming years,”

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – CarrSports Consulting announced today that Karl Benson, a well respected leader in intercollegiate athletics with more than 40 years of experience, has joined the team. Benson joins an already talented and experienced group of Associates at CarrSports who are engaged in all levels of executive search and management consulting.

“I am really looking forward to joining the team at CarrSports Consulting and working with many of my friends and former colleagues to navigate the many issues that face intercollegiate athletics in the coming years,” Benson said.

“We are excited to welcome Karl Benson to our distinguished group of Associates who provide wise counsel and valuable knowledge in our executive search and management consulting projects,” said CarrSports President Bill Carr. “Karl’s exceptional career in the role of Division I conference commissioner greatly expands our breadth and depth of proven, successful experience in addressing conference-related issues. His participation will be quite meaningful.”

“We are very pleased to have Karl Benson join the CarrSports’ team,” said CarrSports Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Thomas. “Karl’s exceptional and diverse career in intercollegiate athletics make him uniquely qualified to provide a high level of service and expertise to our many clients.”

Benson served as Commissioner of three different conferences for the last 29 years, capping a highly-decorated career in collegiate athletics that spanned over five decades. For the last seven years, Benson served as the Commissioner of the Sun Belt Conference where he rejuvenated the conference with his enthusiasm and forward-thinking ideas and initiatives pertaining to branding, membership, student-athlete experience, postseason championships, media partnerships, and the digital media streaming platform.

He arrived at the Sun Belt Conference after a highly-successful 18-year stint (1994-2012) as the Commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference (WAC). During his time in the WAC, Benson served on the NCAA Management Council from 1999-2002 and on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee from 2002-06.

Benson was also the Commissioner of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) from 1990-1994 where he implemented several innovative projects and was instrumental in the formation of the Las Vegas Bowl.

Benson began his career as a baseball coach for eight years before entering the athletics administration field in 1979 when he was named the Director of Athletics at Fort Steilacoom Community College where he served until 1984. He moved to the University of Utah as an Assistant to the Director of Athletics from 1984-1986 before joining the NCAA staff in 1986 as a Compliance Representative for two years. He was also the Director of Championships for the NCAA from 1988-1990.

Benson attended Spokane Falls Community College and received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from Boise State University in 1975. In 2006, Benson received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boise State. He is also a member of the Spokane Falls and Fort Steilacoom Halls of Fame. Benson resides in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, Sarah Glaza. His daughter, Jessica, is a 2014 graduate of the University of Southern California.

 

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college football playoffs

CFP: Congratulations to semifinalists and previous CarrSports clients - Clemson, LSU and Oklahoma.

IN THE NEWS

Congratulations to semifinalists and previous CarrSports clients -  Clemson, LSU and Oklahoma.


CarrSports assists in successful Head Football Coach Search at Mercer

IN THE NEWS

CarrSports assists Mercer in selection of Drew Cronic as Head Football Coach

"We had the opportunity to interview and vet some tremendous candidates. In that process, one candidate's passion, intensity and desire to win was evident from the start."


Jim Cole, Director of Athletics, Mercer University

MACON, Ga. – Drew Cronic, previously the head coach at Lenoir-Rhyne University, has been named Mercer University’s 20th head football coach, Athletics Director Jim Cole announced Tuesday evening.

A native of Sharpsburg, Ga., Cronic is considered one of the more innovative offensive minds across all levels of college football. Driven by the motto “Raise the Bar”, he has posted a 47-6 record in four years as a head coach and has been named the AFCA Regional Coach of the Year all four seasons. He has also helped lead his teams to four straight conference titles – Reinhardt (2016), Furman (2017) and Lenoir-Rhyne (2018, 2019).

“First and foremost, I want to thank Bear Nation and everyone involved in this process for their patience and understanding these last two weeks,” Director of Athletics Jim Cole said. “A special thanks to Sybil Blalock for taking a large role in this process. We could not have done it without her.  We had the opportunity to interview and vet some tremendous candidates. In that process, one candidate’s passion, intensity and desire to win was evident from the start.

“Coach Drew Cronic brought that to the table. I cannot wait to see Drew implement his system and winning culture at Five Star Stadium. We’re so happy for Drew, his wife, Amelia, and his three sons – Noah, Elijah and Isaiah – to be joining our Mercer Family.”

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CarrSports partnered with four FCS top national seeds on strategic planning…JMU, MSU, NDSU and SDSU.

IN THE NEWS

CarrSports partnered with four FCS top national seeds on strategic planning…JMU, MSU NDSU and SDSU.

INDIANAPOLIS — The field of 24 teams competing for the 2019 NCAA Division I Football Championship was announced today by the NCAA Division I Football Championship Committee. The top eight national seeds will host winners from the first-round matchups.

Two-time defending national champion North Dakota State University (12-0) tops the bracket as the number one seed after winning the Missouri Valley Football Conference. The Bison are making their 10th consecutive and 15th overall appearance in the championship.

James Madison University (11-1) is the number two seed after earning the automatic qualifying berth from the Colonial Athletic Association.  The Dukes are making their sixth straight and 16th overall appearance in the championship.

Weber State University (9-3) is the number three seed after winning a share of their third-straight Big Sky Conference title and the conference’s automatic qualification. The Wildcats will make their fourth consecutive appearance in the championship and eighth overall.

California State University, Sacramento (9-3) is the number four seed after earning a share of the conference title in the Big Sky. The title was the first for the Hornets, who are making their inaugural appearance in the championship field.

Montana State University- Bozeman (9-3) will be the fifth seed. The Bobcats are making their second straight and 10th appearance overall in the championship.

The University of Montana (9-3) is amongst the field for the 24th time overall. The Grizzlies are making their first appearance since 2015 and will be the sixth seed.

South Dakota State University (8-4) captured the seventh seed and will make their eighth consecutive appearance and ninth total in the championship.

The eighth and final seeded team will be the University of Central Arkansas (9-3). The Bears earned a share of the Southland title and will compete in the championship for the fifth time in the last nine years.

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Belmont Abbey hires CarrSports to assist with Revenue Generation

IN THE NEWS

Belmont Abbey Hires CarrSports to Assist with Revenue Generation

"Our affiliation with CarrSports Consulting and association with Mike Thomas elevates our external revenue generation efforts to a whole new level,"

Stephen Miss, Director of Athletics, Belmont Abbey College

BELMONT, N.C. — Belmont Abbey College Director of Athletics Stephen Miss announced today the hiring of CarrSports Consulting, an intercollegiate athletics industry leader in executive search and management consulting, to review existing revenue generation programs with the goal of enhancing revenue streams with an emphasis in the areas of development, multimedia and capital projects.

Mike Thomas, CarrSports’ Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, will take the lead in working with Miss and Crusader athletics. A 35-year veteran of college athletics and a director of athletics at four Division I institutions – Cleveland State, Akron, Cincinnati and Illinois – joined CarrSports in early June and looks forward to working with Belmont Abbey College.

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Cornell College retains CarrSports for Head Football Coach Search

IN THE NEWS

Vince Brautigam will not return as Cornell’s head football coach after leading the program the past 10 seasons, it was announced Tuesday by Director of Athletics Keith Hackett.

“My expectations are that we can and will

do better. Our student-athletes and their experiences on and off the field at Cornell are my highest priorities at all times.”


Keith Hackett, Director of Athletics, Cornell College

MOUNT VERNON – Vince Brautigam will not return as Cornell’s head football coach after leading the program the past 10 seasons, it was announced Tuesday by Director of Athletics Keith Hackett.

Brautigam’s teams went 42-56 since he took over in 2000. The Rams finished 4-5 this fall, including a 1-3 mark in the Midwest Conference South Division. Cornell beat Macalester, 17-14, in the MWC’s seventh-place game Saturday in Mount Vernon.

“We are grateful to Coach Brautigam for his efforts over the last 10 years and wish him the best in his future endeavors,” Hackett said. “My expectations are that we can and will do better. Our student-athletes and their experiences on and off the field at Cornell are my highest priorities at all times.”

A national search will begin immediately. CarrSports Consulting will serve as a search counsel. No further comments will be made until the conclusion of the search process.

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Making Waves: Islanders Athletics releases strategic plan

IN THE NEWS

Making Waves: Islanders Athletics releases strategic plan

"We are entering an important phase in the history of Islanders Athletics.

Our new strategic plan demonstrates a commitment to elevating the overall experience afforded to our student-athletes.

Jon Palumbo, Director of Athletics, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Athletics has unveiled a strategic plan that raises the bar for Islanders Athletics, Director of Athletics Jon Palumbo announced Tuesday. The plan, titled “Making Waves”, establishes a new mission and vision along with a set of core values for the program.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Athletics consulted with CarrSports and received input from several stakeholder groups including university leadership, coaches, student-athletes, staff, community members and fans. Each of the six themes is guided by a set of core values and contains several goals and metrics to chart progress and accountability.

The full strategic plan can be found at: https://www.goislanders.com/makingwaves

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CarrSports assists Augustana Athletics in planning move to Division I

IN THE NEWS

Augustana University made official in December what had been rumored since March of 2018: That the current NCAA Division II school planned to take its athletic programs to the Division I level.

" We’re focusing on putting together

a plan that makes us a viable member of a multi-sport conference. "


Josh Morton, Director of Athletics, Augustana University

But athletic director Josh Morton recently revealed that the school’s hope is to have a conference invite by December of 2020, which means things are about to heat up. The Vikings have secured the services of Carr Sports Consulting, a respected firm that specializes in advising colleges on athletics.

With that in mind, Morton and Augustana president Stephanie Herseth Sandlin sat down recently for a wide-ranging interview with the Argus Leader to discuss the state of Vikings athletics, the latest on preparation for the transition and what the school hopes will be waiting for them at the next level.

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