Senter brings mix of skills to Citadel AD job

Jim Senter

In Colorado's Jim Senter, The Citadel is getting an athletic director who has spent time coaching players on the field, and in board rooms closing the deal.

Senter, 52 and a senior associate AD at the University of Colorado, brings a mix of coaching, administrative and fundraising experience to The Citadel, where he will be named the military school's new athletic director on Wednesday. Citadel president Lt. Gen. John Rosa informed athletic department staffers of the hire early Monday, and The Citadel confirmed the hire Monday afternoon.

Senter will replace former Citadel AD Larry Leckonby, who resigned earlier this year to become the new AD at Division II Catawba in Salisbury, N.C.. He will be The Citadel's 12th athletic director.

"We are excited to have a leader of Jim's caliber joining The Citadel team," Rosa said. "He clearly demonstrates values that align with our mission to develop principled leaders on and off the field while striving for academic excellence."

Senter, who interviewed with The Citadel's search committee last week, said he's excited about the opportunity to be an AD for the second time in his career. He was athletic director at Idaho State from 2003-04.

"I think The Citadel job can be as good as any in the Southern Conference," he said. "It's an incredible opportunity. I had heard about The Citadel, but didn't know much about it. I've been fascinated to learn about its history and tradition and the cadets and what they teach there.

"The values I teach there are the kind of values I want my children to possess. If I can work with student-athletes like that, those are my kind of people."

Senter said after spending the last nine years at Colorado, he felt he was ready to run his own department again.

"I've grown immensely over that time, and I look at this opportunity as being in line with my career goals and as a great fit for me," he said. "I got to do a lot of cool stuff at Colorado, and I'm looking forward to doing the same exciting things at The Citadel."

A native of Doylestown, Pa., Senter has spent the bulk of his career in college athletics at schools west of the Mississippi.

Senter worked as an assistant football coach at Idaho from 1986-97, helping the Vandals reach the FCS playoffs six times in seven years. He also was a student assistant at Coffeyville Community College and at Tulsa, where he graduated in 1985.

Senter moved over to athletic administration at Idaho, where he oversaw the school's capital campaign for athletics, helping to raise $13 million. He was athletic director at Idaho State from 2003-04 before moving to San Diego State and then to Colorado.

In nine years with Colorado, Senter has worked in development with the CU Foundation, overseeing major gifts and the annual fund for scholarships. He was promoted to associate AD in 2011, overseeing several athletic programs, including football, and moved up to senior associate AD earlier this year.

Senter and his wife, Susan, have four children, one still living at home. One of his sons is a sergeant in the Colorado National Guard, he said.