Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro today named Jim Bartko from the University of Oregon as Director of Athletics, effective January 1, 2015.

Bartko, 49, is a Central Valley native who currently serves as executive senior associate athletic director for the Ducks. He has spent 26 years in athletic administration, nearly all of them at the University of Oregon.

Born in Stockton, he attended schools there and in Pinole and graduated from Central Catholic High School in Modesto. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sports administration with a minor in business administration from Washington State University in Pullman.

“I am delighted that Jim Bartko is returning home to the Valley to join the Bulldog family,” said Castro. “He has the right skills, a long track record of significant accomplishments, and he enjoys working with people. Jim brings demonstrated success in enhancing the educational experience for student-athletes, program development, community relations, marketing, media relations and fundraising. He also has extensive experience in facility enhancement, corporate partnerships and integration of the Athletics Department with the University as a whole.”

Bartko emerged as the top candidate following a nationwide search. A committee of campus and community members led by Provost Lynnette Zelezny screened and interviewed the candidates and forwarded their recommendations to Castro.

“I am honored to have this opportunity and want to express my gratitude and excitement about the future,” Bartko said. “Fresno State presents a tremendous opportunity, not only professionally, but personally, as it brings me home to my roots. The Central Valley has strong values and great spirit, with the potential for incredible success.

“I can’t wait to get started and begin working with our student-athletes, faculty and staff and fans, as well as introduce my family to the entire Red Wave community.

“I sincerely thank President Castro, the search committee and the campus community for this special opportunity,” Bartko said.

At Oregon, Bartko serves on the Athletics Executive Committee and is responsible for the planning, development and oversight of the day-to-day operations of the Athletics Department. He manages all development efforts, ticket operations, major gifts and group sales.

He has direct responsibility for men’s and women’s golf, volleyball, men’s and women’s track and field and cross country. He assists with daily operations of men’s basketball and football, which include travel, postseason play and marketing campaigns.

He also has direct oversight of the Nike all-sports contract and its fulfillment of the uniform and equipment needs for all 19 sports, as well as all equipment room operations.

Among his accomplishments are raising over $375 million for capital improvements and facility enhancements at the University of Oregon, including the recently completed Hatfield Dowlin Complex, Matthew Knight Arena and John E. Jaqua Academic Center for Student Athletes.

He supervised all aspects of the $227 million Matthew Knight Arena project, including fundraising, design and construction, management of legal and financial issues, development of the business model, seating relocation and marketing and external communications. The nationally recognized facility was completed in January 2011, on time and under budget.

He proposed, developed and implemented the Athletics Legacy Fund, which has created a $140 million endowment to ensure the financial stability of the Athletics Department.

Bartko started his career in 1989 as a regional director and fundraiser for the Duck Athletic Fund at the University of Oregon and advanced into assistant and associate athletic director roles. In 2006-07, he moved to the University of California, Berkeley, where he was senior associate athletic director for development.

He returned to Oregon as senior associate athletic director and in 2008 was advanced to executive senior athletic director.

Bartko and his wife, Eileen, have two children, A.J., 17, and Danielle, 12.

Comments about Jim Bartko:

Phil Knight, Co-founder and chairman, Nike Inc.

“I have known and worked with Jim Bartko for 20 years. He has played a significant role in the growth and improvement of the University of Oregon Athletic Department. As an Oregon alum and contributor, I hate to see him go, but Fresno State has made a great hire.”

Jeff Tedford, Offensive coordinator, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

“I’m really excited about the news that Jim is going to be the athletic director there. I think it is a great choice for Fresno State. I’ve known Jim for a long time and had the pleasure to work with him. He is a great administrator, and he’s a trustworthy person who works tirelessly to get the job done. He is very dedicated to his profession, and I look forward to seeing him there because I know that he will do a great job. I’m just really happy for him. He brings a lot of experience from a program that is maybe one of the most efficient programs in the country, and he’s been one of the backbones of that program for a long time. I think he’ll bring his experience and knowledge that he’s had from Oregon to Fresno State.”

Rob Mullens, Director of Athletics, University of Oregon,

“Jim had a great and outstanding career and contributed significantly to the success of Oregon athletics on many levels. He has a great passion for the business. He loves getting out and meeting people and really, really embraces the ideals of the role intercollegiate athletics plays on a campus. Fresno State is getting an energetic leader, and I know they will enjoy his enthusiasm for the student-athlete experience and his passion for the fans. He’ll make great connections in Fresno.”

Dana Altman, Head men’s basketball coach, University of Oregon

“The student-athletes, the coaches, your boosters and all your alumni will be really excited about working with Jim. He’s a guy that is out and about, and I think will be really popular with all your constituencies. He’s a hard-working guy and someone that I think everybody will enjoy being around. He helped us with our basketball program and our student-athletes; his focus is on always making it get better for them. I think everybody will be working for him.”

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