Since the hiring of athletic director Mike Holder in 2005, Oklahoma State athletics has been on a continual climb in nearly every phase of its operations.
Partly in recognition of those accomplishments, Holder was recently named a finalist for the SportsBusiness Journal’s athletic director of the year. The award is presented annually to the nation’s top athletic director. The selection is made by a panel of industry executives in conjunction with representatives of the SportsBusiness Journal staff.
Other finalists for the award included Louisville’s Tom Jurich, Northwestern’s Jim Phillips and the late Mal Moore of Alabama, who received the honor.
“This is much-deserved recognition for Mike,” said OSU President Burns Hargis. “Under his leadership, our overall athletic program at Oklahoma State has surged to new levels of competitive and academic success. Mike has a great ability to translate his bold vision for building top-flight athletic facilities into reality. The facilities we have built as well as those under construction and planned for men’s and women’s sports are second to none in my view. His skill at inspiring others to embrace his vision is evident by the record donations to our athletic program lead by our alum Boone Pickens.”
OSU’s fundraising has reached unprecedented heights, which has resulted in a series of major construction projects on the northeast corner of campus. The headliner of those projects has been the completion of Boone Pickens Stadium. However, the building has continued long after the completion of the west end zone of the stadium.
In June, was completed on the Sherman Smith Training Center, which sits alongside three new football practice fields. Later this year the Greenwood Tennis Center will become the new home of Cowgirl and Cowboy Tennis, and the new home for OSU track and field teams is also under construction.
OSU also has added five more NCAA national championships under Holder, raising its all-time total to 51, fourth best nationally. An OSU graduate, Holder won eight NCAA titles as OSU’s long-time men’s golf coach.