HSU athletic director candidate Allan “Cooper” Jones talks with attendees at an open forum in the Grand Hall on Feb. 7. | Photo by Thomas Lal

Allan Jones Opens Forums for HSU Athletic Director

First candidate for HSU's next athletic director makes his case for the job
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First candidate for HSU’s next athletic director makes his case for the job

Allan Jones is one of three candidates in the running for Humboldt State University’s next athletic director. While speaking to open forum attendees, Jones said investing in the community and working with the community members are some of the keys to making a successful athletics program.

“We’re going to be heavily involved in this community asking for support,” Jones said. “But in order to do that we need to be invested as well. Not just our student athletes, but our coaches, our administrators, our staff.”

Jones, originally from a small community in Conyers, Georgia, pointed to his additional work in the Waco, Texas area as an example of what he would hope to bring to HSU.

“There’s a reason why I’m on the Rotary Club of Waco,” Jones said. “Why I’m on the little league board for baseball and softball in Waco and why I’m on the Museum Association Board of Waco, and it’s because I need people to know that when I’m out in the community asking for their support, that there’s a return on that investment.”

“I want to bring those best-in-class practices and successes we’ve seen and measure those to scale here with Lumberjack athletics.”

Allan Jones

Jones comes to the table with 20 years of experience in college athletics, most recently working with the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in Waco as the president and CEO. Jones has also held positions at Arizona State University, University of North Texas, University of Louisville, University of Maryland and Georgia Institute of Technology.

Coming to HSU having held positions at several major universities, Jones was confident that his experience there and at smaller schools would help him improve the programs at HSU.

“I want to bring those best-in-class practices and successes we’ve seen and measure those to scale here with Lumberjack athletics,” Jones said. “So I think those experiences at the bigger schools and bigger institutions mesh with having been at places that were smaller, that were rural as well my background having grown up in the second smallest county in the state of Georgia.”

“Let’s figure out, is there a Band-Aid approach that gets us through this next three to four months? And then let’s have the best softball complex between San Francisco and Portland.”

Allan Jones

On the subject of HSU football, which was cut under the previous administration, Jones was open to having the conversation of a return in the future, but he stressed being able to support athletes as a whole.

“I’m comfortable having a conversation down the road about football,” Jones said. “But what it needs to be is a very open, honest, transparent discussion as someone who’s actually brought a sport to a full time NCAA status, understanding not just the scholarship cost, but recruiting, travel budget—all the other things that go in.”

In regard to existing programs on campus, one big facilities issue that Jones sees at HSU is the condition of the softball field, which often becomes unusable when it rains. He said the softball field would be at the top of his list of things to address if he is hired.

“As I understand, left field has got an issue four feet down that it won’t drain,” Jones said. “Well, why would we put $1 million into that when we’re going to have to go back four years later and build a brand new stadium? Let’s be strategic. Let’s figure out, is there a Band-Aid approach that gets us through this next three to four months? And then let’s have the best softball complex between San Francisco and Portland.”

Open forums for athletic director candidates continue on Monday at 4:15 p.m. and on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. in the Great Hall above College Creek Marketplace.

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