Southern Utah University appointed Deborah Corum as interim athletic director following the departure of Jason Butikofer who will join Purdue University as the deputy athletic director on July 18.
"SUU's Department of Athletics has experienced significant growth in every area under the leadership of Jason Butikofer,” said Corum. “I am honored to be provided the opportunity to lead the coaches and staff as we continue to fulfill the athletic department's and the University's initiatives.”
Corum will fill the position after serving as the senior associate athletic director since May of 2016 where she provided leadership and direction with respect to academic services, Title IX liaison, student-athlete welfare, community relations, sport supervision, and as a member of the executive leadership team.
As a 28 veteran of collegiate athletics, Corum served at UConn, Louisiana State, Stanford and in a wide variety of high profile national leadership positions including Chair of the American Athletic Conference SWA Committee, the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Board of Directors, the AAC Strategic Planning Task Force and the AAC Athletics Director’s Executive Committee.
Former Athletic Director, Jason Butikofer is resigning and taking the position of deputy athletic director at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.
At the helm of the Thunderbird program, Butikofer has spent the last two years overseeing 17 athletic programs, coaches, staff, and more than 350 student-athletes.
Since his arrival at SUU, Butikofer has been a part of two Big Sky Championships (2015 football and 2015 men’s cross country) and has hired five new head coaches. From 2015 to 2016, SUU advanced 11 spots nationally in the Learfield Director’s Cup, a program that honors institutions which maintain a broad-based program, achieving success in many sports, both men's and women's. SUU athletics also finished with the second-highest score among all Big Sky Conference institutions in the standings.
“Jason effectively gave four years of work to SUU athletics during the two years he was in Cedar City,” said President Scott L Wyatt. “He invested his whole heart in us. I have rarely seen a more committed and hard-working person than him. To say he took us to the next level would be an understatement. It is a credit to Jason and SUU that he was able to move from SUU to the second position at Purdue. We all wish him the very best.”
Butikofer was also responsible for overall vision, leadership and strategic direction for the University's athletic program. He led the charge in maximizing fundraising successes by forming the Thunderbird Athletic Foundation (TAF), a foundation that combines the efforts of the former TD Club and Thunderbird Athletic Club for donations to better serve the athletic department and student-athletes as a whole instead of individually by sport. Butikofer and SUU’s development team saw significant increases in corporate sponsorship revenue (up 125% from 2015-16 to 2016-17), individual donors, and overall revenue going into 2017.
“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for having the opportunity to lead Southern Utah University Athletics for the last two years,” said Butikofer. “Special thank you to President Wyatt for his unwavering support and to Board of Trustee Chairman Eric Leavitt for his constant counsel and encouragement. Without a doubt I will deeply miss the people associated with this institution but will forever cherish the memories and progress that we made.”
Under the guidance of Corum, SUU Athletics will continue to provide the best opportunity for student-athletes academically and competitively.
“It is with humility and thankfulness for President Wyatt's confidence in my cumulative experience over the last few decades that I accept this challenge to lead an incredible team,” said Corum.
Southern Utah University will be hosting a farewell reception for Butikofer on July 10. More details will be released as the date nears.