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Funding Maverick Champions

Athletic Director Bryan Rooks to transition to senior director of athletic giving

Colorado Mesa University Director of Athletics Bryan Rooks announced he will transition from director of athletics to a new role in the Colorado Mesa University Foundation as the senior director of athletic giving for the Athletic Department.

The move is part of a larger initiative to take an already successful Athletic Department and elevate it by giving programs, coaches and student-athletes the resource and support they need.

"Bryan has bled maroon for nearly 30 years, first as a student, then as a coach and most recently as the athletic director. What we're doing is taking an already outstanding athletic department and bringing it to an elite status where we're competing for championships across the board," said President John Marshall. "We have to continue investing in scholarships to make college more affordable for our student- athletes and what better person to make that happen than Bryan."

The transition comes off the coattail of an incredible winter season, thanks largely in part to Rooks' leadership.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the Athletic Department over these past years," Rooks said. "Having the greatest day in department history this past Saturday with four teams finishing in the top-15 at their NCAA Championships, crowning a National Champion in swimming and 20 individual All-Americans. Being able to work with coaches and people that have helped make those successes happen has truly been a pleasure."

Rooks has spent the past 19 years as a part of the CMU Department of Athletics in various roles. He began as a part-time assistant football coach, coaching receivers from 1998 to 2002. From there, he transitioned into athletic administration and spent nearly 15 years as the assistant athletic director for compliance and helped lead the department grow from roughly 200 student-athletes to nearly 750 student-athletes today.

In the summer of 2017, Rooks began the role as the co-director of athletics with Kris Mort before he transitioned into the sole role of director of athletics in the summer of 2021.

In his time at the helm, Rooks helped the department to 21 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Championships and had 36 NCAA Championship qualifying teams. Those numbers include the nine Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Championships the department won during the difficult COVID-19 season.

During the 2018-19 academic year, the Grand Junction native oversaw the department when the Mavericks finished seventh in the Learfield Cup Standings, which determines the top athletic departments in NCAA Division II. It was the highest finish for the department ever.

"Bryan is the perfect person to help us go to the next level. I am grateful to him for all he has done and will continue to do for this university," said Marshall.

Rooks will begin his new role this summer in the Foundation with clear goals in mind.

"By the time Colorado Mesa reaches its 100th birthday (2025), I want to help the department be fully funded by scholarships," Rooks said. "I think there are numerous ways we can increase sponsorship to help fund our programs."

"Bryan's contributions to CMU are significant and I am thrilled to have him join our team. We have ambitious goals to grow all aspects of Colorado Mesa University and a strong athletic program is critical to growing a proud and vibrant institution," said CMU Foundation CEO Robin Brown.

The search for the next director of athletics will begin immediately.


Written by Dave Jahnke