Mesa fills AD role with Rooks and Mort

Colorado Mesa University moved quickly to fill its open athletic director position.

The university announced Monday that Kris Mort and Bryan Rooks will jointly fill the role as CMU athletic director that came open with the departure of Tom Spicer on May 14.

“Bryan and Kris are two talented and extraordinarily knowledgeable people who have decades of experience between them, said CMU President Tim Foster in a press release. “I have every confidence they can continue to lead the department and our athletic programs in a positive direction as our new co-directors.”

Mort and Rooks served as associate athletic directors since 2007. Both Mort and Rooks are CMU graduates who were student-athletes, and have a combined 39 years at the school.

Mort started in 1994 as the head softball coach and Rooks started in 2001 as an assistant football coach.

Foster also said former CMU baseball player Austin Kaiser will assist the new athletic directors.

“We are also fortunate that we have a rising young star in our ranks, Austin Kaiser, who will play a significant role as part of the administrative leadership team,” Foster said in the press release. “He is a bright, talented young man who will assist Kris and Bryan.

Kaiser has been the assistant director of athletics for student success and compliance at CMU since March 2016.

Spicer stepped down citing “philosophical differences” between himself and Foster as the reason for leaving CMU.

Spicer was hand picked by Foster after the university conducted a national search but didn’t offer the position to any of its five selected candidates.

At that time, Foster reached out to Spicer, who was the athletic director for the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. Spicer came to Grand Junction for an interview and Foster hired him the next day.

Prior to Spicer taking the job, the university was without an athletic director from November 2012, when Butch Miller resigned, until April 1, 2013.

CMU currently has the most sports of any school in the RMAC with 24, and the university will add men’s and women’s triathlon in the fall.

Mort and Rooks will begin their duties as the athletic co-directors immediately.


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