|Terry Mohajir Bio|
Terry Mohajir is in his third year as Director of Athletics at Arkansas State University. He became the 11th Director of Athletics in A-State history on September 19, 2012, and since that time the Red Wolves have enjoyed unprecedented overall success academically, competitively and financially.
Since being named director of athletics, Mohajir (pronounced MO-HODGE-ER) has adopted an “ALWAYS RISING” slogan as an expansion on the popular “RED WOLVES RISING” campaign. With that theme in mind, the Arkansas State alumnus has instituted sweeping changes, created new policies, produced record-breaking fundraising totals, overseen significant facility upgrades and implemented creative philosophies that have put the Red Wolves on course to strengthen their national brand. During his brief watch, the Red Wolves have accomplished numerous firsts in both academics and athletics accomplishments.
Since his arrival to A-State, the Red Wolves have claimed two Sun Belt Conference football championships (2012-13), won the league’s West Division in men’s basketball (2012-13) and picked up conference titles in women’s indoor track and field (2013), women’s cross country (2014), women’s basketball (2013-14) and men’s indoor track and field (2015).
Arkansas State had its first female student-athlete ever win an individual national championship and its women’s athletics program claimed its highest finish all-time in the Capital One Cup standings, earning a prestigious top-50 award for ranking No. 44 among all NCAA Division I programs during 2013-14. The No. 44 ranking was the highest ever by a Sun Belt Conference women’s program.
The 2013-14 athletics year also saw A-State enjoy its highest ever finish in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings, ranking No. 1 in the Sun Belt Conference and No. 83 in the nation among 297 schools. The Red Wolves’ finish not only set a school record, it topped the program’s previous high of No. 134 set in 1999-2000 by 51 places.
Thrust into a football coaching change at the end of the 2012 regular season, Mohajir responded with one of his first major acts as athletics director by appointing an interim head coach and keeping the entire assistant coaching staff in place for the 2013 GoDaddy.com Bowl. The Red Wolves went on to claim their first bowl victory since 1970 and their first win over a top-25 ranked opponent since joining the FBS in 1992. Faced with a head football coaching change following the 2013 regular season as well, Mohajir guided A-State through the process again by keeping the assistant coaching staff in place and giving the Red Wolves everything needed in order to pick up a second consecutive GoDaddy Bowl win.
Mohajir conducted two national searches for a new head football coach that resulted in the hiring of Bryan Harsin at the end of 2012 and Blake Anderson a year later. Both hires were heralded by the national media as some of the best in the country.
Mohajir’s candid media interviews and engaging public speaking appearances have captivated the Red Wolves fan base, but his actions in a short amount of time have also reflected his vision to take A-State Athletics to new heights.
The primary development arm of A-State Athletics, formerly known as the Red Wolf Club, has been renamed the Red Wolves Foundation and a new logo has been introduced as part of a rebranding effort. The changes have been in conjunction with new and exciting initiatives that have been put in place, including a Red Wolves 500 program designed to make a significant impact on donor relations and fundraising opportunities. The positive results are evident with a 103 percent increase in the foundation’s total revenue earned, while A-State has also achieved its highest spot ever in the Collegiate Licensing Company’s (CLC) rankings and set school records for both football total season ticket sales and season ticket revenue.
The athletics department’s budget increased 31 percent from fiscal year 2012-13 to 2013-14, and Mohajir’s goal to reach a $20 million operating budget after five years was achieved in just two years. Under Mohajir’s watch, A-State Athletics placed seventh nationally in the 2013 Excellence in Management Cup, which annually reviews the nation’s athletics departments in regards to maximizing fiscal resources while providing results in the form of championship victories.
Mohajir has made it a point to engage the fan base, stressing the importance of fan experience through avenues such as courtside seating at basketball games, enhancing game-day atmosphere and ensuring that staff go out of their way to extend every fan their assistance. The most recent change in this area has been to Centennial Bank Stadium, where a new approximately 1,600 square foot LED Daktronics scoreboard was installed for the 2014 season.
The value he places on the student-athlete has been evident, creating the inaugural stAte Awards held at the end of each year to celebrate both their academic and athletic accomplishments. He was behind the development of a student-advisory group that encompasses everything from a student-athlete mentorship program to fostering leadership in the community. The Red Wolves Leadership Academy Program was designed with the sole purpose to obtain 100 percent job placement for all the athletics department’s student-athletes upon graduation, and that key initiative has been achieved.
The Red Wolves also saw their academic performance reach an all-time high during record-setting 2013 and 2014 fall semesters, which saw student-athletes achieve the best two ever all-department GPA’s in back-to-back years. A-State achieved a 3.047 all-department GPA in the fall of 2014, the same semester a school-record 208 student-athletes were named to the Athletics Director’s Honor Roll.
Additionally, A-State posted its best ever department-wide APR score according to the latest data, which also saw the football program show the largest margin of improvement in the nation among FBS programs as it jumped from a 902 to a 964.
Facilities have received a number of facelifts since Mohajir’s arrival as well, making sure that the athletic department’s “front door” and other sports areas possess a first-class appearance. He has taken over the fundraising efforts for a $25-million football facility project, making adjustments to the plans that allow for a better fan experience, environment for student-athletes and revenue-generating areas.
A-State has completed, is in the process of completing and has committed a combined $60 million in construction and facility renovations since Mohajir’s arrival, including stadium lighting and seats at Centennial Bank Stadium. Also included in the upgrades have been renovations and updates inside the A-State Football Facility and weight rooms, locker rooms and training rooms at both Centennial Bank Stadium and the Convocation Center, where new seating is also being installed
The Red Wolves Foundation received a $5 million gift commitment from alumnus Johnny Allison for a renovation to its “Centennial Expansion,” and it is the largest individual donation in A-State Athletics history.
Committed to Title IX and gender-equity initiatives, A-State has worked to improve coaching staff sizes and salaries, operation funding and facilities under Mohajir. Among the upgrades, A-State is nearing the completion of a new women’s soccer and women’s tennis facility, which will house both squads’ locker rooms, training room and more.
His philosophies on scheduling have been well documented, and they have resulted in home-and-home games with nationally-prominent programs such as Missouri and Miami for the first time in A-State history. He has capitalized on the Red Wolves recent success by gaining additional games against teams such as Southern Cal, making A-State the first Sun Belt program to schedule a football contest against the Trojans.
Mohajir was recently appointed as the Sun Belt Conference’s representative on the College Football Playoff Athletic Director’s Advisory Board, acting as one of 10 athletics directors from FBS conferences on the board. He was also asked to serve on the NCAA Division I Championships Cabinet and the NCAA Division I Football Issues Committee.
Mohajir continues to evaluate and process information to complete a national-branding campaign, but has already started building a strong foundation for the future of A-State Athletics.
Mohajir's career path went through three other NCAA Division I institutions, including the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Florida Atlantic and Kansas, before leading him back to his alma mater.
Mohajir's wealth of experience, history of success working with a university in A-State's current conference and his noted accomplishments at a BCS automatic qualifying school made him a clear choice to take over the reins at Arkansas State.
Mohajir has gained national respect in collegiate athletics while working with some of the finest administrators and coaches in the country, such as former FAU, Louisville, Miami and Oklahoma head football coach Howard Schnellenberger.
The Overland Park, Kansas native has been involved with major fundraising campaigns at multiple universities, while also overseeing corporate sales, marketing promotions and ticket sales. Prior to A-State, he most recently served 16 months as Kansas' Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Chief Marketing Officer. Prior to his time with the Jayhawks, he spent a seven-year stint as Florida Atlantic's Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Relations from 2004-11 after working at UMKC from 1997-2004 as its Assistant Director of Athletics for External Relations.
Mohajir worked at Kansas in a variety of capacities during two different stints, but his latest stop in Lawrence saw him assume responsibility for the Williams Education Fund that totaled over $22 million in revenue for the fiscal year 2012. He supervised the athletics department's areas that generated over $40 million in revenue. In addition, Mohajir oversaw Kansas' multimedia rights partnership for IMG. His most recent role as Chief Marketing Officer was heavily focused on the market strategies for the proposed football stadium renovations.
Mohajir went to Kansas from his position at Florida Atlantic, where he oversaw development, marketing, ticket sales, corporate sales and the media relations department. Foremost among his responsibilities was a fundraising campaign for a $70 million on-campus football stadium. His astute project management helped the Owls' football program reach the 2007 New Orleans Bowl in just its fourth year as an FBS program, an NCAA record for the fastest start-up program to go to a bowl game. During his tenure, FAU's athletics department enhanced its major gift program 800 percent, Owl Club giving increased 400 percent and special-events revenue increased 150 percent.
Mohajir's original connection to KU dated back to the early 1990's, when he was a graduate assistant, an assistant offensive line coach and game-day special team's football coach for the Jayhawks (1993-96). He left Kansas in 1997 but didn't go far, staying in the Kansas City area to take over his administrative position with the newly-created Division I UMKC Athletics program. There he supervised marketing and promotions, sports information, fundraising, radio and TV contracts, corporate sales, tickets, event operations, sports medicine, strength and conditioning and men's soccer.
Under his leadership, the Kangaroos saw dramatic increases in endowment, sponsorships, ticket revenue and its donor base. One of his more visible accomplishments at UMKC was the fundraising and construction efforts for a new training room and strength and conditioning center.
During his time as an assistant coach at Kansas, Mohajir was on the staff that beat UCLA in the 1995 Aloha Bowl and had a final ranking of No. 9 in the AP poll. He was also a football ticket sales and promotions account executive for Kansas Athletics and earned a master's degree in sports management at KU in 1997.
Mohajir graduated from Arkansas State University with a major in sports management and a minor in marketing in 1993. He was a starting safety on A-State's football team.
Mohajir is married to the former Julie Hammond and they have two daughters, Maria (13) and Molly (11), and son, Marco (6).