By Ben Hercik, Sports Editor
Cleveland State University held a press conference on April 8, in the Glasscock Family Foundation Ballroom in the Student Center and named Scott Garrett the university’s new Athletic Director.
Garrett comes into the position armed with knowledge from his background in athletic departments, from his time at other universities. Garrett started as the person in charge of External Marketing and Ticket Sales in Illinois at Chicago University.
While at the university, Garrett led initiatives that led donations, sponsors and ticket sales to an all time high for the university. Garrett also helped their men’s basketball team to their second and third highest, single game attendance record in school history.
Garrett then went to Wichita State University, where he managed ticket sales and services. Garrett orchestrated two consecutive sold out seasons for men’s basketball, in an arena that holds 10,506 people. Additionally, Garrett lead an initiative for new courtside and capital campaign seating programs which created over $1 million in revenue for the school.
Garrett moved on to Kansas State University as the External Associate Athletic Director, and for nine years, he helped Kansas State athletics soar to new heights. While he was there, the football team had 46 straight sellouts of Bill Snyder Stadium which holds 50,000 people.
He helped lead the men’s and women’s basketball teams, women’s soccer, volleyball and baseball to being in the top 25 in national attendance. Under Garrett’s leadership, Kansas State saw their ticket revenue to grow from $13 million to roughly $19 million, and saw their donor base contribution raise to $1.5 million per year.
Garrett also led strategic initiatives with investments and raised over $230 million in capital improvements. All of these accomplishments helped Garrett and the Kansas State marketing team be named the NACMA marketing team of the year in 2014.
Now, Garrett has landed at Cleveland State where he has a very big challenge ahead of him. During the 2017-18 school year, the athletic budget of $13.7 million, was 86 percent paid for by student fees and other school funds. Ticket sales also have gone way down, with nearly a $341,000 drop off over the past five years, and with the 2018-19 average attendance of 1,115 being the lowest in a long time, the school hopes that Garrett is the person to fix this situation.
Garrett is coming into the position with a lot of praise from many of his former associates and athletes from his former schools. John Currie, the current director of athletics at Wake Forest University and the former director of athletics at Kansas State who worked with Garrett at the school, thinks that Garrett is the perfect fit for Cleveland State.
“President Sands has hit a grand slam home run with the hire of Scott Garrett. Scott is deeply committed to the holistic development of student-athletes, is a tireless worker and is one of the most creative promoters in all of college athletics,” Currie said. “From the moment we hired him at Kansas State in 2010, his intellect, drive and knack for innovation made our department and university community better.”
“I am excited to watch him team with President Sands to turn Cleveland State into a leader in the Horizon League academically, athletically and in service to the community.”