Fresno State parts ways with Athletic Director Terry Tumey

The university is on the look for a new athletic director just weeks after Fresno County voters soundly rejected Measure E, which would have given Tumey all the funding he needed to complete the Elevate campaign.

Fresno State is moving on from Athletic Director Terry Tumey after six years. 

Fresno State announced Thursday that the university has mutually agreed to part ways with Tumey. 


The big picture: Tumey leaves Fresno State just one year after signing an extension, which would have kept him on until June 2025. 

  • But Fresno State has agreed to pay Tumey 80 percent of his base salary, coming out to $312,000, to send him packing, according to McClatchy. 
  • Tumey’s exit comes just one week after the university booted former men’s basketball coach Justin Hutson after six years as well. 
  • That leaves Fresno State President Saul Jimenez-Sandoval with the task of filling two of the top positions in the athletic department. 
  • Deputy Director of Athletics Rob Acunto is stepping in as the interim Athletic Director. Acunto was hired by Fresno State in August of last year.

What they’re saying: Jimenez-Sandoval said in a statement that Tumey will leave the university to pursue other opportunities. 

  • “We are working together on a transition plan to ensure that we have continuity of leadership in the Athletics Department,” Jimenez-Sandoval said. “I sincerely appreciate Terry’s six years of dedicated service to Fresno State and the support he has provided to our campus, community, and most importantly, to our student-athletes. We wish Terry all the best for a fulfilling future.” 
  • Tumey posted a statement on X, saying it has been an honor to serve the Fresno State community. 
  • “I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this Valley that remains undefeated in its support of athletics,” Tumey said. “I am proud of our accomplishments and the high level of success our programs achieved in competition, in the classroom, and in our community.” 

The backstory: Tumey was hired by former President Joseph Castro in 2018, following the short-lived tenure of Jim Bartko, who had resigned the previous year. 

  • While Tumey found success in coaching hires, including Kalen DeBoer and Jeff Tedford for football and Ryan Overland for baseball, he had to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, which factored into the university’s decision to scale down the athletic department. 
  • Fresno State cut wrestling, men’s tennis and lacrosse during his time leading the department. Castro was still the university president when these decisions were made. 
  • Tumey said at the time that the department lost around $12 million due to the pandemic, leading to the three sports being chosen to be cut.
  • While wrestling and men’s tennis have faded away, a group of former lacrosse players are suing the school over alleged Title IX violations. 

What we’re watching: Tumey’s exit begs the question: What will happen to Fresno State’s Elevate campaign to renovate Valley Children’s Stadium and other athletic facilities? 

  • Last year Fresno State launched the Elevate campaign to raise over $250 million for athletics, with much of the funding going to overhaul the aging football stadium. 
  • But Tumey’s exit comes just weeks after Fresno County voters voted against Measure E by a wide margin. 
  • Measure E, the 0.25 percent sales tax proposal, would have raised nearly $1.6 billion for Fresno State, with around $250 million that the university would have requested for athletics.
  • Without any public backup plans or fundraising announcements, the future of Elevate comes into question without the financial support of Measure E, and now it will be an issue for the next athletic director to solve. 
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