AMES – Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen has extended the contract of Athletics Director Jamie Pollard to 2026.
Pollard, who will be the nation’s fourth-longest serving Football Bowl Subdivision AD this fall (behind Oklahoma’s Joe Castiglione, Kentucky’s Mitch Barnhart and Ohio State’s Gene Smith), has led Cyclone Athletics since 2005.
“In light of his consistently steady and successful leadership over many years, especially during a worldwide pandemic that brought unprecedented challenges, I am delighted to announce that Jamie will remain at Iowa State executing our shared vision for athletics,” President Wintersteen said. “True to his servant leadership style, which has always been focused on others, Jamie accepted our extension enthusiastically, and has agreed to do so without an increase in compensation.”
Pollard’s tenure has been punctuated with record-setting performance in nearly every metric. A couple highlights from the 2020-21 season were the football team’s PlayStation Fiesta Bowl Championship and safely playing games and hosting fans (albeit smaller crowds) during COVID-19. Iowa State has had the fewest positive COVID tests of any school in the Big 12.
“I am grateful to Dr. Wintersteen for the opportunity to continue pursuing our ambitious goals for the athletics department,” Pollard said. “The administration’s support, led by President Wintersteen, has been instrumental to our program’s success.”
The athletics department has ranked near the top of the Big 12 in both athletics performance and academic achievement for a number of years consecutively. Later this spring, the department will be opening the doors to its newly constructed, $90 million Sports Performance Center. That is the latest addition to the nearly quarter of a billion dollars that ISU Athletics has devoted to facilities during Pollard’s tenure.
National observers have noticed the resurgence at Iowa State and Pollard was recognized as 2019 Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He was also a finalist for the 2019 Sports Business Journal AD of the Year.
Pollard is currently in Indianapolis serving the second year of his five-year term on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee. He is also a member of the Executive Committee of NACDA and was that organization’s first vice-president in 2020.
“I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to lead our athletics program for the past 16 years and look forward to leading the program for many more,” Pollard said. “We have created an incredible culture among our coaches and staff which makes coming to work every day so enjoyable. Lastly, our children grew up in Ames and our family is proud to call Iowa home.”