NAU athletic director will not seek new contract

Northern Arizona University Athletic Director Jim Fallis announced today he would not seek an extension of his contract when it expires June 30. Fallis cited personal reasons for his decision to leave the university after eight years.

“I want to thank and congratulate the student-athletes, coaches and staff of the department who have been so committed to making NAU athletics a successful part of this university,” Fallis said. “I also want to thank the hundreds of loyal Lumberjack fans I have had the privilege to meet and work with.”

Fallis said he will complete several obligations to the department, university, Big Sky and NCAA, and continue running day-to-day operations of the department until his current contract ends.

Since Fallis joined the university in 2004, NAU has ranked among the top 100 athletic departments in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings four times and won the 2005-6 Sterling Savings Bank Presidents’ Cup for academic excellence among its student-athletes. The university has won 28 Big Sky Conference titles, the Big Sky Conference Men’s All-Sports title three times, and eight athletes have earned national titles under his direction.

Under Fallis’s direction, the 300-plus Lumberjack student-athletes have maintained a 3.0 or better cumulative grade point average in 14 of the last 15 semesters. Student-athletes posted a 3.11 cumulative grade point average for the fall 2011 semester, the second highest mark in school history. The athletics program also received high marks last year for exceeding NCAA academic standards in all 15 sponsored sports for the second consecutive year.

“Jim has played a key role in the successes of our student-athletes for nearly a decade,” said NAU President John Haeger. “We are grateful for his service to the university, and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”