Men's Sports

Jamie Pollard named AD of the Year

The following is a press release from Iowa State Athletics Communications:

CLEVELAND  For the second time since 2019, Iowa State Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard has been selected as one of 28 Cushman & Wakefield AD of the Year (ADOY) honorees by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Pollard was one of four 2023 winners from the Football Bowl Subdivision and will be honored in conjunction with the 58th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla., June 13.

“I am honored and humbled to accept this award on behalf of our entire athletics program,” said Pollard, the 20th individual to earn multiple FBS AD of the Year honors in the award’s 25-year history. “The award is a great testament to the success our department has experienced as the result of the hard work performed by our coaches, staff and student-athletes. In my opinion, this award not only recognized the Athletics Director of the Year, but also acknowledges the Athletics Department of the Year!”

Pollard, Iowa State’s longest-tenured Director of Athletics and fourth-longest serving individual at their current Power Five institution, is in his 18th year leading the Cyclones. His vision for ISU student-athlete’s academic and athletic success, coupled with an unbridled passion to execute that vision, continues to impact the campus and Ames communities, the Big 12 Conference and intercollegiate athletics.

Based upon the NCAA’s 2022 Division I metrics, Cyclone student-athletes continue to thrive academically under Pollard’s leadership. ISU led the Big 12 and set school-records for both its overall (95 percent) and female (99) Graduation Success Rates, while its male GSR (90) was a school-record.

Pollard, who inherited a department whose average Learfield Directors’ Cup finish had been 67th with a high of 41st in 1996-97, has methodically engineered a competitive program that has averaged a final Directors’ Cup placement of 48th over his tenure while producing seven Top 50 finishes, including a school-record 34th-place showing in 2009-10.

Landmark highlights of Pollard’s tenure include:           

  • In September 2022, he unveiled plans along with ISU President Dr. Wendy Wintersteen and ISU Research Park Director Rick Sanders to build the nation’s first-ever multi-use entertainment district in the center of a college campus, CYTown, between Jack Trice Stadium and Hilton Coliseum.
  • An investment of more than $320M in new construction and facility renovations impacting nearly all Cyclone student-athletes; the most-recent being the $90M Stark Performance Center.
  • Secured the largest donation ever received by ISU Athletics – a $25 million gift from the Reiman family – that was the lead donation for the south end zone enclosure at Jack Trice Stadium.
  • Assembled, arguably, the strongest coaching staff in ISU history.
  • The Cyclones have won 21 of their 29 all-time Big 12 team titles on his watch.

“Because of Jamie’s leadership, Iowa State Athletics is truly a model for college athletics departments across the country,” said Iowa State University President Dr. Wendy Wintersteen. “Jamie has an unwavering commitment to winning and achieving with integrity while fostering a positive and caring culture for our student athletes, coaches and staff.”

The only individual to have ever served as President of NACDA, the I-A Athletics Director’s Association and CABMA, Pollard currently serves on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee.

The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities. The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges) and honors four winners from each division annually.

“The Cushman & Wakefield Athletics Director of the Year Award has grown to become a universally recognized and respected honor for leaders in college athletics over the last two decades,” said Pat Manak, NACDA’s Chief Executive Officer. “This year we are proud to honor many seasoned veterans, as well as a few new faces, who have faithfully guided their departments through the steady waves of change the industry has overcome in the last few years. This deserving group of athletics directors are a source of inspiration not only for their peers, but for young administrators everywhere who are climbing the ladder to follow in their footsteps.”

Cushman & Wakefield is in its second year of sponsoring the award. The ADOY Award program is in its 25th year and has recognized a total of 556 deserving athletics directors to date. In addition to Pollard, winners of the 2022-23 Cushman & Wakefield AD of the Year Awards at the FBS level are Utah’s Mark Harlan, Pitt’s Heather Lyke and Kansas State’s Gene Taylor.

“Cushman & Wakefield is thrilled to welcome the 28 new recipients into the ADOY family,” said Craig Cassell, Executive Managing Director, Leader, Education Advisory Group and Co-Leader, Sports & Entertainment Group at Cushman & Wakefield. “We are humbled by the leadership and initiative the candidates demonstrated to achieve this designation. We are also inspired to emulate their actions and qualities and be a steward of the candidates’ commitment to student-athletes and the communities they serve. Cushman & Wakefield is proud to be a NACDA partner and honored to sponsor the ADOY award.”           

All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD’s institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control during the tenure of the current athletics director.

Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners, as well as other respected intercollegiate athletics administrators. Special Divisional Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award.

About NACDA: Now in its 58th year, NACDA is the professional and educational Association for more than 22,000 college athletics administrators at more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. NACDA manages 18 professional associations and four foundations. In addition to virtual programming, NACDA hosts six professional development events in-person annually. The NACDA & Affiliates Convention is the largest gathering of collegiate athletics administrators in the country. For more information, visit