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Ted Leland, a nationally recognized leader of collegiate athletics programs who has held several key positions at University of the Pacific, today announced he will retire from his position Oct. 23.

Athletic Director Ted Leland today announced he will retire from his position Oct. 23.

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Pacific News

Pacific’s athletic director to retire

Leland helped to secure university’s largest gift ever, led return to WCC
Aug 22, 2017

Ted Leland, a nationally recognized leader of collegiate athletics programs who has held several key positions at University of the Pacific, today announced he will retire from his position Oct. 23.

An interim athletic director will be appointed and a national search will be conducted in the spring to find a permanent replacement.

Leland, a two-time Pacific graduate, is credited with reinvigorating annual giving to the athletics programs, spearheading Pacific's return to the West Coast Conference, and leading the effort to improve and enhance athletic performance and the quality of athletic facilities at Pacific. When he arrived in 2006 to become vice president of university advancement, Leland was involved in helping to secure the largest gift in Pacific's history, the $125 million bequest from the estate of former Regents Robert and Jeannette Powell. He was named vice president for external relations and director of athletics in July 2011 and today oversees 18 athletic programs.

"The contributions Ted has made, not only to athletics and our student-athletes, but to all of our students and the university community have been extraordinary," said Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck. "Ted has significantly raised the quality of athletics at Pacific by bolstering financial support for academic programs, scholarships and facilities. His ongoing commitment has been vital in moving Pacific back to the WCC and elevating athletic performance to meet the rigorous competition found in that conference. His legacy at Pacific will be found for years to come in the way our student-athletes learn, live and compete."

As the athletic director at Pacific, Leland reorganized Athletics' annual giving operation via the Pacific Athletic Foundation, increasing fundraising by more than three times in just three years. He also oversaw the Pacific Athletics 5-year Strategic Plan and the Athletics Facilities Master Plan.

Since Leland's arrival, the Tigers have taken home four conference titles, while qualifying for postseason competition 12 times. Much of that success is credited to Leland recruiting and retaining nationally renowned coaching talent, such as men's and women's water polo head coach James Graham, men's soccer head coach Ryan Jorden, men's basketball head coach Damon Stoudamire and women's softball head coach Brian Kolze.
Their coaching has helped propel the Tigers to record successes the past four years. The men's water polo team was ranked No. 1 in the nation for four weeks in 2013 and advanced to the NCAA National Championship game. One member of that team twice won the Peter J. Cutino Award for the best collegiate water polo player in the nation and others were nominees, several were named to national teams around the world, and two played in 2016 Rio Olympics. Women's basketball won the Big West Conference title and advanced to the Women's National Invitation Tournament for four straight years. Men's basketball made two postseason appearances under Leland, including the NCAA Second Round in 2013.

Leland was named a co-chairman of the U.S. Secretary of Education's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics in June 2002. The 15-member panel examined ways of strengthening enforcement of Title IX and expanding opportunities to ensure fairness for all college athletes.

Leland's connection to Pacific runs deep. After graduating from Hayward High School and attending Chabot College, he earned his bachelor's degree in physical education in 1970, and his master's degree in physical education in 1974 at Pacific. He earned a PhD in education and sports psychology at Stanford University in 1982.

As an undergrad at Pacific, Leland earned First Team All-PCAA football honors as a defensive end, was named all-conference football player, and won the team's Most Valuable Player award as a senior. He was also a member of the track and rugby teams, and was founder of the local chapter of SAE.

He later coached football at Pacific, Stanford and East Tennessee State. He also taught sports psychology and philosophy of sport at Pacific, Dartmouth College and Stanford. He was an assistant football coach and physical education instructor at Stanford in 1978-79, an assistant athletic director at University of Houston from 1979-81, a senior associate athletic director at Northwestern University from 1981-83, and the athletic director at Dartmouth College from 1983-89. He has been inducted into the Halls of Fame of eight different organizations, including Pacific and Chabot College for football, Stanford for his time as athletic director, and the Stockton Athletic Hall of Fame for his career as a student-athlete, coach, athletic director and administrator.

Leland is devoted to service in college athletics and the community. He is the board chair of the Sutter Health Valley Area Safety and Quality Committee, and serves on the board of the Sutter Central Valley Hospitals and Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. He also serves on the board of Community Foundation of San Joaquin Community. He is former chair for Stockton Unified School District's Measure C & Q Citizen Oversight Committee and the USA Volleyball Foundation Board. He has served as a member of the National Advisory Board of the Positive Coaching Alliance, Miracle Mile Improvement Association Board of Directors, San Joaquin Partnership and USA Volleyball Board of Directors.

Leland has served on several national athletics committees throughout his career, including the Division I NCAA Committee on Infractions, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Executive Committee, chaired the NCAA Water Polo Committee, and the NCAA Ad Hoc Committee on Student Athletic Employment. His other career accomplishments at Pacific include the following:

  • Upgrading facilities as part of athletics master plan, including: a new field hockey turf field ($721,000), the Raney Beach Volleyball Courts ($312,000), Bill Simoni Field upgrades ($232,000), Chris Kjeldsen Pool upgrades ($177,000), and a baseball covered performance facility ($855,000). Additional projects underway include the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center ($4.2 million) and renovations to the Alex G. Spanos Center (estimated $20 million). Additional projects include a new soccer field, the $1.5 million Janssen-Lagorio Performance Center, and the Roy and Jean Sanders Tennis Clubhouse for the Eve Zimmerman Tennis Center.
  • He helped strike a deal to bring Pacific back to the West Coast Conference in 2013, placing student-athletes in a higher level of competition with similar colleges and universities.
  • He also spearheaded efforts to improve athlete effectiveness with Sparta Performance Science, Tigers' Training Table providing dialing meals tailored for fueling athletic performance, and brought in Nike and Apple computer as the apparel and technology providers for Athletics.
  • While athletics direct at Stanford, Leland led the program to 57 national colligate championships in 14 different sports, each more than any other athletics director in NCAA history. Stanford also won six national titles in 1996-97, more championships in one year than any other athletic director in NCAA history.

Media contact:

Keith Michaud | 209.946.3275 (office) | 209.470.3206 (cell) |

Dan Chapman | Associate Director of Athletics | 209.946.3108 (office) | 

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