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CSU athletic dept. fires current athletic director, hires ex-Rams QB

7:24 PM, Dec 1, 2011   |    comments
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The school did not say what the news conference or announcement was about at first, but 9NEWS confirmed they were going to fire current athletic director Paul Kowalczyk. At 1 p.m., CSU President Tony Frank confirmed those reports.

John C. "Jack" Graham, a businessman and former CSU Rams quarterback, will be the university's new athletic director.

"In Jack Graham, we have the perfect combination of dedicated Ram fan, stand-out athlete and experienced business leader with the skills and business acumen to energize and advance our overall athletics program," Frank said. "I am excited about the enthusiasm he will generate among our students, coaches, alumni, donors and fans. He brings high standards, high expectations and a passion for winning that is infectious."

Graham played quarterback for the Rams from 1973-74. he graduated from CSU in 1975. Graham will take on the duties of athletic director effective immediately.

"Athletics play a critical role at CSU," Graham said. "Our teams can and should be leaders in defining our university's traditions, and they can be catalysts that unite our students and community. I am honored to return to CSU and believe our success in athletics can and will send a signal about the overall quality of CSU's leadership, our standards and our talent. We are committed to winning while maintaining the highest level of integrity and student success."

It is unknown at this time why the athletic department fired Kowalczyk, but Frank did confirm that he simply wanted to "make changes in athletics leadership."

Kowalczyk has been with the CSU athletic department for six years. Before that, Kowalczyk was the athletic director at Southern Illinois University. That was his first athletic director job.

In 2010, Kowalczyk signed a five-year contract extension.

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