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OSU names Holder vice president for athletics

Friday, September 16, 2005

Friday, Oklahoma State University System CEO and President David J. Schmidly recommended to the OSU/A&M Board of Regents that longtime OSU men's golf coach Mike Holder be named vice president for athletic programs and director of intercollegiate athletics.

The Regents accepted Schmidly’s recommendation, which was made after a 15-member search committee forwarded a unanimous recommendation in Holder's favor.

Regent Chair Burns Hargis commended the search committee for its efforts and complimented the leadership of OSU alumnus and Tulsa businessman John Clerico in heading the search.

“I am pleased that Mike will lead our athletic department at OSU,” Hargis said. “He brings a level of knowledge and experience about OSU as well as a proven track record of excellence in developing national championship teams and nationally recognized facilities, all within budget. I know he will strive to replicate that experience throughout OSU athletics.”

Schmidly said he was excited to have Holder fill the role.

“He has a true passion for OSU and is committed to graduating student-athletes, strengthening our athletic budget and improving our national ranking in every sport," Schmidly said.

“He has built a quality golf program based on sound fiscal practices and first-rate facilities. And now Mike will be able to extend his leadership and apply his successful approaches on a broader scale to our entire athletic department. I am also confident Mike will contribute a great deal to the life of OSU and this community as a member of our executive leadership team.”

Holder, who has been at OSU since arriving in Stillwater as a student-athlete in 1966, replaces Harry Birdwell, who announced his resignation as athletic director in June. The appointment is effective immediately.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity and want to thank the Board of Regents and President Schmidly for this vote of confidence,” Holder said. “I am committed to our university, alumni, students, student-athletes and fans to work hard and build successful programs in all of our sports.

“Our No. 1 challenge is reducing our athletic debt while continuing to build the quality facilities we need to recruit and compete at the highest level in both men’s and women’s sports. We will continue to work hard to help our student-athletes excel in the classroom and in their sports. I look forward to working with our entire athletic department team, the executive leadership team, faculty and students to help OSU be the very best.”

Schmidly said the new vice president title better reflects the position's executive responsibilities and the seamless interaction expected with the university's executive leadership.

“The VP for athletics will work closely with the entire OSU leadership team to better integrate athletics into the overall university mission,” Schmidly said.

Clerico said Holder was the choice OSU kept coming back to.

“Our consultant did an excellent job of conducting a broad national search and identifying a number of fully qualified candidates," Clerico said. "When we analyzed these candidates and Mike Holder’s outstanding record of accomplishments, his passion for OSU and his vision for athletics, we became convinced that Mike was the best person for our position.”

Schmidly said Holder’s experience, abilities and success make him a natural to lead OSU athletics.

“Mike brings the executive-level skills needed to operate a $30-to-$40 million business. He knows how to build major projects as evidenced by Karsten Creek," Schmidly said. "He has the business and marketing skills you need to be successful in athletics today. And he knows how to develop highly successful student-athletes. I also want to thank Dave Martin for filling in as interim AD. Dave is a loyal and respected leader.”

After playing golf and graduating from OSU in 1970 with a degree in marketing, Holder earned his MBA at OSU in 1973 and then became Cowboy golf coach that same year. In 32 years as coach, his teams have set unequaled standards on the golf course and in the classroom.

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