March 8, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Alan Verlander, Associate Director of Athletics at Samford University, has been named Jacksonville University's new Director of Athletics, JU President Dr. Kerry Romesburg announced Tuesday. Verlander, who becomes the seventh full-time athletic director in JU's history, will oversee a Division I athletic program which sponsors 18 intercollegiate teams and competes in the Atlantic Sun Conference. The Dolphin football program is Division I-AA and competes in the Pioneer Football League.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join the JU family," said Verlander. "My goals are to provide structure and leadership, and to help this athletic department grow and develop into a shining light for this institution and the Jacksonville community. I plan to build on the great history and tradition of JU athletics and make our own history in the future."
Verlander, 32, is a Jacksonville native who worked at the University of North Florida and with the Gator Bowl Association before leaving the First Coast in 1997. He is a 1990 graduate of the Bolles School and his grandfather, Ash Verlander, served as Chairman of JU's Board of Trustees from 1982-85.
"Jacksonville University was extremely fortunate to find, in Alan Verlander, a new director of athletics who brings a strong background in Division I collegiate athletics, a passion for helping develop student-athletes and a love of the Jacksonville community," said Romesburg. "Alan's impressive experience in external affairs and marketing is particularly exciting and promises to be a great benefit to our Athletic Association."
Verlander will be responsible for the planning and development of the Dolphin intercollegiate athletic program. His responsibilities will include selection and management of coaching and administrative staff, development and management of the department's $5.3 million annual operating budget, fundraising, marketing and promotions, academic enhancement and support, compliance with conference and NCAA regulations, supervision of athletic events and oversight of recruitment and retention of student-athletes.
"This is an important and necessary step for the university," said Romesburg. "With the leadership of our new JU Athletic Association and a new dedicated director, JU's athletics program is positioned to enter a new era of success. Moving our athletics program forward is a crucial part of our strategic plan to enhance the institution's learning and living environment for students."
Verlander has spent the last five years as associate athletic director for external operations at Samford University, where he oversees the Samford Athletic Foundation, facility improvements, the corporate partnership program, ticket sales, athletic media relations, marketing & promotions, broadcast operations, licensing & merchandising and the Bulldogs' official athletic web site. Verlander's other administrative duties include day-to-day oversight of the Samford baseball and golf programs.
During his tenure at Samford, the Bulldogs have seen dramatic increases in individual and corporate giving, as well as record attendance and ticket sales in nearly every sport. Samford-branded merchandise has also experienced record growth, while the Bulldogs' television, radio and internet coverage has been enhanced and expanded to include football, men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, women's soccer and volleyball. Verlander is currently managing a $3.5 million capital campaign for renovations to the baseball, softball and soccer stadiums, as well as a new student-athlete academic center.
"Alan is one of the finest people I have ever worked with," said Samford Athletic Director Bob Roller. "He is a man of integrity, who has done an excellent job at Samford."
Prior to working at Samford, Verlander spent two years as national sales executive for Host Communications in Atlanta, where he was responsible for securing corporate partners for the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences, in addition to all colleges and universities represented by Host. He also developed the Music City Bowl property in Nashville, Tenn. for Host, which included securing a title sponsor, additional corporate partners and a national radio network.
Verlander was the director of marketing and promotions for the Gator Bowl Association in Jacksonville from April of 1995 until July of 1997. He directed all sales of corporate sponsors, which totaled more than $1.8 million, while also managing game operations and serving as a liaison with NBC and the Atlantic Coast and Big East Conferences.
He began his career as director of sports marketing and promotions at the University of North Florida from May of 1994 until April of 1995. In less than a year, Verlander increased corporate sponsorship by nearly 500 percent and coordinated all fundraising efforts for the Osprey Booster Club.
Verlander graduated with his B.A. in speech communications from Samford in 1994, where he earned three varsity letters in baseball. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in Strategic Communication and Leadership from Seton Hall University. He and his wife, Bonnie, have four daughters: Abby (7), Kate (4), Maggie (2) and Mary (1).
JU's Vice President for Student Life Dr. John Balog has served as the Dolphins' acting athletic director since January of 2004. He replaced Dolphin basketball coach Hugh Durham, who served dual roles as JU's director of athletics and basketball coach from March of 2001 until January of 2004. Durham was named interim athletic director in March of 2000 after Tom Seitz accepted a similar position at Jacksonville State University.
Jacksonville University Athletic Directors
1953-67 Dr. Roland L. Rourke 1967-81 Dr. Judson B. Harris, Jr. 1981-86 Paul S. Griffin 1986-92 Donald O. Jacobs 1992-2000 Thomas M. Seitz 2000-04 Hugh N. Durham* 2004-05 Dr. John A. Balog^
*Interim A.D. (2000-01)...^Acting athletic director