Longtime CSU academic leader, former Tennessee chancellor to chair AD search

Loren Crabtree, a longtime leader at Colorado State University who went on to serve as Chancellor of the University of Tennessee, will chair the search for a new athletics director at Colorado State.

Crabtree, who lives in Fort Collins in retirement, agreed to serve as chair to help find the best possible leader for the department.

“Having spent a considerable amount of time working in the SEC with college athletics at the highest level, I believe I have some insight into what President Frank is looking for — a leader of vision and character who can continue to drive CSU Athletics toward excellence across the board,” Crabtree said. “Tony Frank is a leader of impeccable integrity who understands that while academics must and should always come first, athletics can be an important part of the overall university and should be run in a way that elevates the institution as a whole. Tony’s commitment to student athletes — and his insistence on creating a spirit of teamwork among the athletic department staff and supporters and community members is something I fully embrace. I’m happy to play a role in supporting CSU’s commitment to an exceptional, first-class, and successful athletics program.”

Crabtree served as UT System Vice President and Chancellor of UT-Knoxville, a member of the Southeastern Conference, from 2001 to 2008, and retains the title emeritus Distinguished Professor of History at UT. He served as Provost, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and in several other academic leadership roles during his 34 years at Colorado State.

“The visibility of the university is in many circles linked to our athletic success, and so too is the reputation of the institution,” Frank said. “In athletics, as in all areas, we will strive to be the very best we can be, all the while maintaining our integrity and building positive, lasting relationships locally, across Colorado and around the nation. I’m happy someone of Loren’s stature and reputation has agreed to help us by leading this search, particularly given his love for CSU and his longtime leadership on our campus.”

In addition to Crabtree, Frank said representatives from the faculty, staff and students will be included in the search, as will supporters of the athletic department, donors and community members. The search committee membership will be finalized and announced in the coming weeks.