ABILENE – Jared Mosley, who recently completed his 10th year as the director of athletics at Abilene Christian University, announced Friday that he is resigning to become the CEO and president of the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.
Mosley’s resignation is official immediately, although he will stay on with ACU through at least mid-October while also beginning his new job in Waco. Abilene Christian president Dr. Phil Schubert said a national search for Mosley's replacement would begin immediately.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to work with Jared. God has blessed him with enormous talents and abilities that have benefitted ACU under his leadership,” Schubert said. “While we will miss him, we wish him well in his new role at the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.”
Mosley, the lead athletics fundraiser for the $75 million Vision in Action initiative to build three new science facilities and two new stadiums on campus, said the decision to leave ACU was a difficult one, but an opportunity he couldn’t turn down.
“The process leading to this move has been very bittersweet for (wife) Trish and me,” Mosley said. “We can’t begin to express our appreciation and love for everyone at ACU who has helped shape, encourage and support the great work we have been a part of over the last 14 years. Not many people get the opportunity to experience life as a student-athlete and later be in a leadership position at that same institution, helping shape the student-athlete experience.
“Our 14 years in Abilene (and Mosley’s 18, including his four years as a student-athlete) have been an amazing blessing for our family,” he said. “I’m proud of the coaches, administrators, faculty, staff and loyal alumni and donors who have played such a significant part in providing what I believe is the most unique athletics experience in NCAA Division I. I am thankful for the thousands of student-athletes who made our work here so enjoyable and worthwhile. It’s been an amazing opportunity to share Christ and to walk with them to help them better understand how God has blessed them.”
Mosley was named the seventh director of athletics at ACU in June 2004 and under his leadership, the Wildcats won 10 NCAA Division II national championships, 20 Division II regional championships and 46 Lone Star Conference championships.
Some of his most notable achievements, however, have been dedicated to raising funds necessary for two on-campus stadiums, guiding the athletics program from NCAA Division II status to NCAA Division I affiliation and a return to the Southland Conference, and negotiating a three-year deal with Adidas for the sports apparel company to be the official outfitter of Wildcat athletics.
The academic performance and overall student-athlete profile has also significantly improved during Mosley's tenure. The average student-athlete GPA has risen from a low of 2.74 to last year's student-athletes reaching the 3.0 mark. ACU student-athletes also have graduated at a rate similar to that of the general student body. That figure is anticipated to improve given ACU's recent transition to NCAA Division I affiliation.
The academic profile of student-athletes entering ACU has seen dramatic improvement in the first year of Division I recruiting. ACU's last Division II recruiting class saw 40 percent of that class earn a 3.5 GPA or higher in their core high schools classes. The first Division I recruiting class saw that percentage jump to more than 60 percent of the incoming class earning that same 3.5 or higher GPA in their core high school classes.
A more academically prepared class, in addition to heightened NCAA legislation tied to academic performance and retention, is anticipated to equate to improvements in graduation rates as well.
"Two of our highest priorities are helping young men and women have a quality experience in athletics and earn a quality degree from ACU that will serve them the rest of their life," Mosley said. "I have no doubt that will continue to be the case. I'm very pleased with our progress in preparing student-athletes for success. As we move forward in our Division I transition, I fully believe we will continue to see significant progress in aligning our athletics programs with the greater academic aspirations and goals for the institution as a whole.
"Whether you consider the positive impact of greater missional alignment between athletics and the university, or the significant visibility the Division I stage has provided to ACU, I'm confident the decision to transition our athletics program two years ago will continue to provide significant benefits for ACU for years to come," he said.
In May 2008, Mosley won the All-American Football Foundation’s General Robert Neyland Award as the Athletics Director of the Year for the NCAA Southwest Region and was honored again in 2012 as the Under Armour Division II West Region Athletic Director of the Year.
ACU began a women’s soccer program in 2007-08 and had a successful inaugural season, finishing 8-11-1 overall and just missing the LSC Post-Season Tournament. In 2010, that team won its first conference title and advanced to the regional championship match.
Marketing and increasing the visibility of ACU athletics have been another focus during Mosley’s tenure. The Wildcats launched a new website (acusports.com) in August 2006 to capitalize on technology advancements and the opportunity to keep fans, alumni, donors and prospects engaged through a more interactive Web experience.
Mosley is one of the most decorated basketball players to play for ACU. He finished his career in 1999 as the 11th-leading scorer and eighth-leading rebounder in Wildcat history, and in his senior season (1998-99) he led his team to the Division II South Central Region championship game.
He earned several honors during his senior season, including first team GTE academic all-America, first team NCAA all-South Central Region by the NABC, second team all-region by Daktronics-CoSIDA, LSC South Division MVP, and first team academic all-LSC. He also was awarded a $5,000 NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
Now Mosley turns his attention to leading the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, which began in 1951 when former Major League Baseball great Tris Speaker was the inaugural inductee. Located in Grand Prairie from 1981-86 and closed before reopening in 1993 in Waco, the organization also houses the Texas Tennis Museum and Hall of Fame and the Texas High School Football of Fame, and it sponsors the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame.
“I am grateful to the Texas Sports Hall of Fame Board of Trustees and executive committee for their confidence in me, and I am honored to have the chance to work beside them in building the visibility and preserving the history associated with sports in the great state of Texas,” Mosley said.
“At the same time, it’s hard to say goodbye to so many great friends in Abilene, and to a community that has gone above and beyond in supporting our family,” he said. “ACU will always be ‘home’ for our family and our prayer is that God continues to show His favor and blessing on everyone associated with this great university.”