Longtime AD Mike Jacobsen Announces Retirement
January 28, 2013
For Immediate Release
University Marketing & Communications: Mike Rigert (801) 863-6807
Written by: Chris Taylor (801) 863-8484
While the year 2013 will signal the beginning of an era for the UVU athletics department as it commences competition in the Western Athletic Conference later this year, it will also mark the end of another. Longtime UVU athletics director Mike Jacobsen today announced that he will retire effective June 30. He came to then Utah Technical College (UTC) in 1984 after spending the 19 prior years as a coach and administrator at Springville High School and has served as the institution’s athletics director ever since.
“Alice and I have struggled with this decision for months now, but it is time,” Jacobsen said. “This has been a most difficult decision for both of us. We love UVU. It has been very good to us for a long time. There is still so much to do, but if I’m being honest with myself, I will never really be ready to leave. There will always be something else, something bigger and something better to do as it pertains to this program. Alice and I still have a lot that we want and need to do outside of UVU. We are getting older and we need to go and do while we are both in relatively good health. Make no mistake about it though – UVU will always have a very significant and sizeable place in our hearts.”
When Jacobsen first arrived on campus, the athletics department consisted of him, four part-time coaches and a work-study administrative assistant. The program had no indoor athletic facilities and no scholarships. Since that time, Jacobsen has led the Wolverines to numerous conference and regional titles, both at the junior college and NCAA levels. In 2000, the program claimed its first national title after winning the NJCAA Softball National Championship.
He will perhaps be best remembered, however, for leading the program from the JC ranks straight into competition at the NCAA Division I level in 2002, a feat that had never been done and that will likely never be duplicated thanks to new rules that prevent such a jump. UVU was granted full NCAA D-I status on July 7, 2009.
During UVU’s past four years as a member of the Great West Conference, the Wolverines’ success has continued. UVU has won all three Commissioner’s Cups and is well on its way to a fourth. Jacobsen’s coup de grace was the key role he played in UVU’s recent affiliation with the WAC. UVU will begin competing as part of the WAC during the 2013-14 academic year.
Jacobsen was named the NACDA Athletic Director of the Year for the Junior/Community College West Region in 2000 and was the recipient of the William L. Miller Award in 2001, the administrator of the year award for the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA).
“Mike has nearly, quite literally seen it all. It is becoming less and less common for someone to exhibit this kind of loyalty to one institution, particularly in the athletics profession where things seem to change on almost a minute-by-minute basis,” said UVU President Matthew S. Holland. “UVU is part of Mike’s permanent make-up, and I don’t see that ever changing as long as he lives. He’s given his all to this program the past 29 years, and this institution will always be grateful to him for that. He built a program virtually from scratch in many regards and now leaves us with a quality Division I level operation in a regionally competitive conference.”
“I want to thank all of the coaches, players, boosters, support staff and administrators over the years who have been part of Wolverine athletics family and had such an important hand in molding this program into what it has become,” Jacobsen added. “I promise people that this program will continue to turn heads.”
Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally, a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah’s largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high-demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.