Long Beach State Athletics Director Vic Cegles was recently named the 2014-2015 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year just as the school's graduation approaches, according to a statement released by the school last week.
The release said the honor—awarded by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)—recognizes athletic directors across seven divisions who have demonstrated administrative excellence and commitment to student-athletes within a campus and/or college community.
“I’ve been in the athletics business for almost 40 years, so it’s nice to be recognized by your peers for those years that you put into learning about the business and working with athletes and coaches,” Cegles said in a statement. “But this award is not just about me. It’s about the institution, my colleagues here at Long Beach State and all the people who’ve influenced me throughout my career,” he added.
Cegles, who has been at The Beach since 2006, has significantly increased fundraising efforts at the school each year, reaching over $2 million in total gifts toward athletics in 2014, school officials said.
He was also named one of the top 10 best fundraising athletic directors in the country by CollegeAd.org earlier this year.
Dedan Brozino, senior associate athletic director for external relations and communications at CSULB, said the honor is long overdue for someone who helps the school continue to succeed with limited resources with respect to bigger schools in the country.
“Just having the opportunity to learn from someone like Vic with so much experience is a huge thing,” Brozino said.
Under Cegles’ leadership, various enhancements have been completed or are currently underway at the Walter Pyramid, George Allen Field and Blair Field. Academic success has improved with all NCAA-sponsored teams at Long Beach State scoring above the required 925 on the Academic Progress Rate (APR), school officials said.
Cegles has also helped the 49ers claim the Big West Commissioner’s Cup—awarded to the top athletics program in the conference—for four consecutive seasons.
Last Friday Cegles’ wife Bonnie and members of the Beach Athletics Club recognized his efforts by throwing a surprise party that doubled as a birthday celebration at Blair Field.
According to Cegles’ Twitter account, supporters also gifted him a champagne bottle and basketball in honor of his recognition.
Cegles will be formally honored at the NACDA’s 50th Annual Convention in Florida on June 17.