Lee Takes Athletic Director Post at ASU

by Arkansas Business staff  on Tuesday, Jul. 9, 2002 4:31 pm  

Dr. Dean Lee of Stillwater, Okla., on Tuesday was introduced as the next athletic director at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Lee will move to ASU from Oklahoma State University, where he was executive director of the OSU Athletic Associates and assistant vice president of the OSU Foundation. He joined the OSU staff as associate director of athletics for the Big 12 Conference school in 1997.

Lee succeeds Paul Griffin, who announced June 28 that he would resign as athletic director effective July 15. Griffin had become athletic director in December.

"We are delighted that Dean Lee has decided to join us and to keep up the momentum we have experienced in recent months," Dr. Les Wyatt, ASU president, said. "He brings excellent credentials and outstanding personal skills to lead ASU's athletic programs. He is held in high regard among his former colleagues for his organizational skills, strategic planning and tireless work ethic."

Lee's administrative experience at two NCAA Division I-A universities, OSU and the University of Arkansas, and his achievements in mobilizing financial support moved him quickly to the front of candidates, the university said in a news release.

In addition, his experience as a coach at Henderson State University and his familiarity with ASU and the state of Arkansas made him an attractive candidate, Wyatt said.

"I feel extremely honored and proud to be associated with such an outstanding university. I have lots of roots and relationships in the state, and I look forward to renewing them," Lee said.

"Dr. Lee has indicated he is willing to accept our challenges and circumstances and to make them better," Wyatt said. "I am pleased to introduce an individual who is so uniquely qualified for the immediate challenges before us and for continuing our involvement in Division I-A."

Arkansas Connections

Lee, 45, became associate athletic director of development at OSU in 1997, following two years as athletic director at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. While at Tech, he directed the school's move from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II level.

Lee also worked as vice president of the Razorback Foundation at the University of Arkansas from 1988 until he left for Tech in 1995. While at Fayetteville, he also served on the faculty as an instructor.

In his role at OSU, Lee served as chief executive officer of the Athletic Associates, a professional fund-raising organization. Lee also was involved with developing and directing the $100 million campaign for a new football stadium, and he coordinated and solicited funding for a $56 million facilities expansion project.

According to ASU, annual giving increased during Lee's tenure at OSU to about $22 million, with $7.6 million in new revenue during the past fiscal year. During the past five years, membership in the athletics booster organization increased 60 percent, and sales of basketball and football tickets increased 70 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Football season ticket sales exceeded 30,000.

Lee also has served as chair of the 2002 Big 12 Development Directors Conference.

Oklahoma Native

Lee earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in education at Henderson State University then completed his doctor of education degree at the University of Arkansas.

Although he was born in Oklahoma, Lee competed in high school sports in Arkansas, participating in the All-Star football and basketball games in 1975. He played basketball, baseball and tennis at Henderson State, where he later served as an assistant coach. He also was head basketball coach at Malvern High School early in his career.

He and his wife, Reba, are the parents of two daughters, Diamond Olivia and Anna Pearl. His mother lives in Berryville.



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