San Jose State defeats Georgia State at the Orlando Citrus Bowl in 2015 (Photo: Christina Olivas)

San Jose State defeats Georgia State at the Orlando Citrus Bowl in 2015 (Photo: Christina Olivas).

Media contacts:
Pat Lopes Harris, SJSU Media Relations Director, 408-924-1748,
Lawrence Fan, SJSU Athletics Media Relations Director, 408-924-1217,

San Jose, Calif. — A newly formed partnership involving San Jose State University Spartan Athletics and University Advancement will elevate athletics fundraising efforts, better leverage advancement resources, and enhance day-to-day collaboration, connectivity and alignment as the university works to increase resources for its student athletes, coaches and support staff.

“This new partnership will set a standard for campuswide collaboration while enhancing our efforts to support our student athletes and coaches,” Athletics Director Marie Tuite said. “We have much to do as we move our program forward in the Mountain West. This new arrangement will heighten our ability to raise resources in support of the on-going renovation of South Campus and to meet other facility needs. In addition, we will strengthen support for top priorities, including building our annual fund and growing our endowment.”A new Athletics Advancement group, led by a team of fundraising professionals with specialized expertise, will become part of the university’s advancement team, assimilating athletics-focused fundraising and outreach into broader institutional development efforts.

“This reorganization stands to reinvigorate SJSU’s athletics annual fundraising efforts, encompassing a review and analysis of annual giving, donor recognition levels and other elements, with the larger goal of raising support for athletics to levels at peer institutions, including our conference rivals Fresno State and San Diego State,” Vice President for University Advancement Paul Lanning said.

National recruitments

National recruitments for two new Athletics Advancement leadership roles will begin immediately:

  • A deputy athletics director for athletics advancement, reporting to the vice president for University Advancement, with a dotted-line reporting relationship to the director of athletics, will lead athletics development as well as oversee collaborations with athletics and advancement leadership on marketing, sponsorships, special events and other external-facing functions.
  • An associate director of athletics for annual giving will guide athletics-focused development efforts currently housed in what has been known as the Spartan Foundation.

New roles

Four established professionals will assume new roles within Athletics Advancement.

  • Incumbent development directors for athletics Tim Rice and Rodney Knox will take on expanded roles. Rice has assumed the new role of associate athletics director for football development, and Knox has assumed the new role of assistant athletics director for major gifts.
  • Athletics fundraisers Willie McHargue and Mike Chisholm will join the newly-formed department. McHargue will focus on major gift opportunities, continuing the work in which he has been engaged in recent years. McHargue’s primary focus will be attracting support for planned South Campus facility projects. Chisholm will support annual athletics fundraising efforts as the university expands this critical source of ongoing support.
  • Senior Associate Athletics Director Blake Sasaki will remain in SJSU Athletics and continue to partner with University Advancement on critical projects including naming and sponsorship opportunities and special events. Sasaki will continue to be a critical link between university athletics and institutional leadership.

Recruitment for the new positions will begin next week.

About San Jose State University

The founding campus of the 23-campus California State University system, San José State provides a comprehensive university education, granting bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in 250 areas of study – offered through its eight colleges.

With more than 35,000 students and nearly 4,370 employees, San José State University continues to be an essential partner in the economic, cultural and social development of Silicon Valley and the state, annually contributing 10,000 graduates to the workforce.

The university is immensely proud of the accomplishments of its more than 260,000 alumni, 60 percent of whom live and work in the Bay Area.

About SJSU Athletics

San Jose State University’s athletics program sponsors 20 NCAA Division I sports (7 men’s and 13 women’s) and offers an intercollegiate athletics experience to at least 450 student-athletes annually. The Spartans compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), the highest level of college football. San Jose State is a member of the Mountain West — a conference of 12 football-playing schools in the Pacific, Mountain and Hawaiian time zones.


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