February 27, 2006

Rasmuson Resigns as Head Men's Basketball Coach to Take Position as Director of Athletic Development

Feb. 27, 2006

GREELEY, Colo. - Craig Rasmuson announced on Monday that he is resigning as head men's basketball coach at the University of Northern Colorado to take a position in the Northern Colorado Department of Athletics as Director of Athletic Development.

Rasmuson said the decision was the result of a discussion he initiated with Director of Athletics Jay Hinrichs earlier this season about the future of the men's basketball program.

"It is just the right time to make this move," said Rasmuson. "Personally and professionally there are others things out there for me right now. It is hard to step away after 12 seasons as a college head coach but I am ready to start my next career, which will be in athletic administration."

Rasmuson, who was the 16th coach in program history, took the reigns of the team beginning in the 1999-00 season when the program competed at the Division II level. He led the Bears to a 14-13 record in his third year with the team, marking only the second winning season for the program in a 13-year stretch. He also helped lead the program into the reclassification process to Division I, which began in 2003-04. In his seven years with the program he compiled a 63-129 record and was 129-195 in 12 years as a collegiate head coach. At Northern Colorado, he graduated 88 percent of his players who exhausted their eligibility.

In his new role as Director of Athletic Development, Rasmuson will manage the Northern Colorado Athletic Fund, including annual gifts, the Bears courtesy car program, be in charge of all fundraising events and help initiate a student-athlete alumni group.

"One of Craig's immediate major tasks will be to roll out our facilities enhancement program, coinciding with the Student Fee Athletic and Recreation Facilities renovation plan," said Hinrichs. "We know that Craig will be able to get donations quickly to purchase furniture, equipment and signage for our new venues."

Northern Colorado, which enters its final year of reclassification in 2006-07, becomes an official member of the Big Sky Conference on July 1, 2006. The men's basketball team was 5-24 in the 2005-06 season, which ended with a loss to Utah Valley State on Feb. 25.

A nationwide search to find Rasmuson's successor will begin immediately. A search committee will be formed and the position posted in accordance with the usual human resources procedures at Northern Colorado.