After directing Fort Hays State University?s athletic department for the past 15 seasons, athletic director Tom Spicer has announced plans to lead Colorado School of Mines as their new director of athletics. Colorado Mines, like FHSU, is a member of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.
Spicer announced Tuesday that this year would be his last at FHSU. He had served as the university?s athletic director since July 27, 1989.
?Tom Spicer has been here 15 years and has done an outstanding job,? said Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president. ?He not only excelled in providing leadership for the FHSU athletic program but for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference as well.?
?We have enjoyed our stay here over the past 15 years,? said Spicer. ?We were privileged to have had the opportunity to contribute to the overall wellness of the community and university.
Spicer?s fund-raising efforts have led to improved financial support of Tiger athletic programs. He presided over two national championship performances including the 1990-91 Women?s Basketball title and the 1995-96 Men?s Basketball title. He also led the athletic department in 2000 when the Tiger baseball squad earned World Series runner-up honors. Six athletic squads have been named NCAA II Academic National Champions during his tenure.
Spicer was largely responsible for the improvements that have been made to Lewis Field Stadium. Through his continued efforts the 1936 stadium was renovated with synthetic surfaces on both the football field and track prior to the 1993-94 and 2003-04 academic years. He also implemented softball and women?s golf as the 15th and 16th varsity sports at the university.
A native of Beaver, Oklahoma, Spicer attended secondary schools in Hays. He is a graduate of Hays High School and earned a bachelor of science degree from Fort Hays State University in 1972. He played varsity football for the Tigers during his collegiate days. Spicer also received his master of science degree from FHSU in 1977.
Prior to making the move back to FHSU Spicer was the director of athletics and dean of student affairs at Butler County Community College.
?We have looked at moving to Colorado for several years and feel that this is a great opportunity for us as individuals and professionals to accomplish some of our lives? goals,? said Spicer. ?We look forward to the new challenges ahead of us at Colorado School of Mines.?
The president said he had been aware for awhile that Spicer and his wife, Kathy, wanted to retire to Colorado. ?Now that the kids are gone, the timing is good for them,? the president said. ?Colorado Mines is a quality institution with a full-fledged athletic program. I?m sure Tom will be successful there.?
Spicer will work until June 5, the end of the current fiscal year. ?We?ll begin a search immediately for his replacement,? the president said, ?and we hope to have his replacement on board before he leaves.?
Mike Barnett, FHSU?s Vice President for Administration and Finance, has appointed Dr. Jeff Briggs to lead the search committee for an athletic director. The university hopes to receive applications in the next two weeks and conduct interviews prior to the end of the semester. ?We are following this timeline so that coaches, student-athletes and faculty can participate in the hiring process,? Hammond said.