Photo Gallery (photos by Jordan Murph)
FULLERTON, Calif. – Jim Donovan, former director of athletics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, today was appointed director of athletics at Cal State Fullerton.
“I am thrilled to now be able to call Jim Donovan a Titan,” said President Mildred García. “I’m confident in his ability to lead our intercollegiate athletics program with continued success, and ensure an enriching experience for our student-athletes.”
A 21-year veteran of athletics administration, Donovan, 53, becomes the 11th director of athletics in the history of Cal State Fullerton after overseeing Hawaii’s 21-sport operation with a budget of more than $30 million from 2008-12. During his tenure, the athletic programs saw a collective improvement in both Academic Progress Rate (APR) and overall grade point average (GPA) while managing a department that included more than 120 full-time staff, 200-plus part-time staff, and 450-plus student-athletes.
Donovan spearheaded a fund-raising effort that secured more than $40 million in public and private capital improvement projects and increased planned giving and major gifts from $5 million to an estimated $14 million. He also secured a partnership with ESPN Regional Television for the creation of the Diamond Head Classic basketball tournament and negotiated a contract with Oceanic Time Warner Cable and KFVE-TV on another television partnership that will bring in more than $14 million to the athletics department over a six-year period.
On the field, the Rainbow Warriors competed at a high level, making 20 postseason appearances, including two football bowl appearances, an NCAA semifinal appearance for women’s volleyball, softball’s inaugural appearance in the Women’s College World Series, and postseason tournament appearances for men’s basketball, sand volleyball, and men’s and women’s tennis.
Donovan spent 17 years in athletics at Hawaii prior to a six-year hiatus as the Executive Director of the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl from 2002-08, beginning as a two-year offensive lineman for the Rainbow Warriors in 1981-82, earning honorable mention All-Western Athletic Conference honors as a senior. From there, he spent two years as a graduate assistant football coach and followed that with a three-year stint as manager of baseball’s Les Murakami Stadium.
In 1988, Donovan was promoted to sports marketing director, spending six years heading up the promotion and corporate sponsorship aspects of the department. In 1994, he was named the assistant athletics director for administrative services and, two years later, became the department’s associate athletics director for nine years, serving as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer.
He served on the Gender Equity Subcommittee and was the department’s spokesperson for matters involving the Hawaii state legislature, UH Board of Regents, Athletic Advisory Board, Aloha Stadium Authority, NCAA Certification Committee, and various other community organizations.
Donovan also served as president and CEO of m2c, Inc., a business consulting company that provides leadership and strategic direction in event management. Some of his clients included ESPN Regional Television, Panda Travel, and Sodexo Food Services.
A 1983 graduate of Hawaii with a bachelor’s degree in geography, he earned an executive master’s degree in business administration in 1996. An Anaheim, Calif., native who attended both Servite High School and Santa Ana College, Donovan is married to the former Tracy Orillo and they have two children, Jacqueline and Joshua.