There were conference championships, individual accomplishments, and academic successes in 2017.
He will focus on ensuring momentum and progress for the South Campus master plan.
San Jose State track and field was synonymous with Speed City & more.
Donors Rich and Cindy Thawley, San José State alums, gave a $5 million lead gift commitment.
Five teams had or matched an all-time best score.
Gene Bleymaier, one of the most-experienced and accomplished athletics directors in college athletics, was named San José State University's director of athletics on May 24, 2012. In his four-and-a-half years as director of athletics, the Spartans' athletics and academic achievements cover a wide spectrum.
Bleymaier led the University's transition into the Mountain West as its primary conference affiliation, added the sports of women's indoor and outdoor track and field and beach volleyball, reinstated men's water polo after a 34-year absence, conceived plans for new and upgraded athletics facilities, and successfully promoted San Jose State as a practice site for Super Bowl 50 and Copa America 2016, one of the world's most widely watched soccer tournaments.
Academically, San Jose State reported its highest-ever NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) multi-year department score -- 976 (out of 1,000) in 2015. In 2016, a University-best three programs, men's cross country, women's cross country and women's water polo, received the NCAA's Public Recognition Award for a multi-year score in the top 10 percent nationally of their respective sports.
In athletics competition, San Jose State now has four consecutive football bowl victories after winning the 2012 Military Bowl and the 2015 Auto Nation Cure Bowl. The 2012 Spartans were listed in the final BCS standings for the first time in school history at #24, and were voted #21 nationally in the season-ending Associated Press and USA Today/ESPN coaches polls.
Since 2012, San José State's conference championships are in women's soccer, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis and softball. The Spartans finished an all-time best 106th out of 295 NCAA Division I programs in the final 2013 Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings that measure overall program success in national competition. San Jose State's teams and student-athletes also competed in NCAA post-season competition in men's cross country, men's golf, women's golf, women's gymnastics, women's swimming and diving and women's outdoor track and field during his tenure.
Bleymaier came to San José State with an impressive array of personal and professional accomplishments from 30 years as Boise State University's athletics director. He directed the Broncos through three conference affiliation upgrades to comprehensive success in conference and national competition. Boise State posted 33 top-25 finishes in nine different sports. Most recognizable was Boise State football's ascension to a national brand. The Broncos were the only football program from 2009 through 2011 to finish in the top-10 each year in the Associated Press and coaches' final polls and had six top-10 finishes in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings between 2004 and 2011.
In 10 years of WAC membership, the Broncos were the only three-time winner of the Commissioner's Cup signifying the conference's best overall athletics program. There were conference championships in 11 sports - five men's and six women's programs. 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 Broncos consistently produced the highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) score among WAC football-playing members. The NCAA recognized Boise State in 2010 with a Public Recognition Award for achieving an APR score that ranked in the top-10 percent for all NCAA Division I football-playing schools. The Boise State student-athlete population also produced a five consecutive semesters 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 remains one of the most distinguishing playing surfaces in the United States. His fundraising acumen and vision led to the creation of enhanced practice and competition facilities for football, track and field, 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.
In August 2013, Boise State unveiled the Gene Bleymaier Football Complex honoring his accomplishments at the University. In 1997, he founded the post-season Humanitarian Bowl game. Now known as the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the Boise-hosted game now is in its 18th year attracting top college football teams.
For his exemplary leadership, Bleymaier received the 2008 Astro Turf Athletics Director of the Year and the 2011 Bobby Dodd 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 José 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.