|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.
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) and women’s basketball (2013-14).
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 2013-14 athletics year also saw A-State finish No. 83 in the nation in the Learfield Sports Director’s Cup standings, which was its first ever top-100 ranking.
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 last 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 2012 and Blake Anderson a year later. Both hires were heralded by the national media as some of the best hires 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 30 percent increase in annual funds raised and 50 percent jump in corporate sales under Mohajir’s watch.
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 is being 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’s key initiative is 100 percent job placement for all the department’s student-athletes upon graduation.
The Red Wolves also saw their academic performance reach an all-time high during a record-setting 2013 fall semester, which saw student-athletes achieve a school-record 3.029 all-department GPA.
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.
Under Mohajir’s watch, A-State received its largest single gift commitment ever by an individual ($5 million by Arkansas State University alumnus Johnny Allison for a “Centennial Expansion Project” at the football stadium).
Since Mohajir’s arrival, A-State has already invested over $16 million in construction and facility renovations, including a new 1,600-square foot LED video scoreboard, 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.
A-State is also scheduled to break ground this fall on a new women’s soccer and women’s tennis facility near the soccer field and tennis courts, which will house both squads’ locker rooms, training room areas, offices 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).