Gene Bleymaier was named San Jose State University's director of athletics on May 24, 2012 and began his duties with the Spartans on July 1.
As one of the most-experienced athletics directors among the 124 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools in Division I, Bleymaier comes to San Jose State with an impressive array of personal and professional accomplishments from 29 years as Boise State University's athletics director.
His foresight and vision led to Boise State changing conferences three times during his tenure. Once a member of the Big Sky Conference, Boise State moved to the Big West Conference in 1996, the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) in 2001 and the Mountain West Conference in 2011.
Bleymaier directed the Broncos to comprehensive success in conference and national competition. Boise State posted thirty-three top-25 finishes in nine different sports. Most notable and easily recognizable is Boise State football's ascension to a national brand. The Broncos are the only football program from 2009 through 2011 to finish in the top-10 each year in the Associated Press and coaches' final polls. Since 2004, Boise State has six top-10 finishes in the Bowl Championship Series standings and was as high as sixth in 2009.
In 10 years of WAC membership, the Broncos were the only three-time winner of the Commissioner's Cup signifying the best overall athletics program in the conference. There were conference championships in football, women's gymnastics, women's swimming and diving, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's soccer, women's tennis and women's cross country - all sports San Jose State offers - and men's tennis and men's indoor and outdoor track and field.
Boise State coaches earned 31 Coach of the Year awards and Bronco student-athletes received conference Athlete of the Year awards 35 times and 68 All-America honors over a 10-year span.
Academically, the NCAA recognized the Boise State football program with a 2010 Public Recognition Award for achieving an Academic Progress Rate (APR) score that ranked in the top-10 percent for all NCAA Division I football-playing schools. Consistently, the Broncos produced the highest APR score among WAC football playing members. The Boise State student-athlete population recently produced a five-semester run of cumulative grade-point averages over 3.00 per semester.
Bleymaier can take credit for conceiving Boise State's unique blue artificial turf for Bronco Stadium. Installed in 1986, it is one of the most distinguishing playing surfaces in the United States and now is imitated in various ways throughout the country. His fundraising prowess and vision led to the creation of enhanced practice and competition facilities for Boise State football, track and field, men's and women's basketball, softball, tennis, and women's gymnastics over a 15-year span. New sports medicine, student-athlete support services and strength and conditioning facilities also were constructed under his watch.
He was the driving force in the creation of the post-season Humanitarian Bowl game. Now known as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Boise-hosted game now is in its 16th year attracting top college football teams.
During his Boise State tenure, Bleymaier was recognized nationally for exemplary leadership. He received the 2011 Bobby Dodd Athletics Director of the Year and 2008 Astro Turf Athletics Director of the Year Awards. In 2009, he was one of five finalists for the Street and Smith's Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily Athletic Director of the Year Award and the only nominee from a non-automatic qualifying Bowl Championships Series (BCS) conference school.
The 1975 UCLA graduate was a three-year letter-winning tight end on the Bruins' 1972 through 1974 football teams. Bleymaier was a third-team All-Pacific 8 Conference selection and was the 1974 recipient of the UCLA Alumni Association's Outstanding Senior Award.
His college coaches were legendary San Jose State alum Dick Vermeil and Pepper Rodgers.
Bleymaier earned a law degree from Loyola Law School in 1978. He served as a UCLA assistant athletics director before joining the Boise State athletics department in 1981 as an assistant athletics director. In 1982, he was promoted to the Broncos' athletics director.
He and his wife, Danell, have four adult children - Maribeth, Joe, Claire and Tom.