Jan. 28, 2013
OREM, Utah -- After 29 years at the helm of Utah Valley's intercollegiate athletic program, Director of Athletics Mike Jacobsen has announced that he'll retire at the end of June. During his tenure, Jacobsen has taken UVU Athletics from a junior college athletic program to the highest level of intercollegiate athletics, NCAA Division I.
"My wife (Alice) and I have struggled with this decision for months now, but it is time that I retire from Utah Valley University." Jacobsen said. "This has been a most difficult decision for both of us. We love UVU. It has been very good to us for a long time now. We will always BE GREEN!"
“Mike has nearly, quite literally seen it all. It is becoming less and less common for someone to exhibit this kind of loyalty to one institution, particularly in the athletics profession where things seem to change on almost a minute-by-minute basis," UVU President Matthew S. Holland said.
"UVU is part of Mike’s permanent make-up, and I don’t see that ever changing as long as he lives. He’s given his all to this program the past 29 years, and this institution will always be grateful to him for that. He built a program virtually from scratch in many regards and now leaves us with a quality Division I level operation in a regionally competitive conference."
Professionally, Jacobsen's leadership has led to numerous conference and regional titles, both at the junior college and NCAA levels. In 2000, the program claimed its first - and only - national title after winning the NJCAA Softball National Championship.
He was key in UVU's move from a DI independent to the newly-formed Great West Conference. During the school's four years as members of the Great West, the Wolverines' success has continued. UVU has won all three Commissioner's Cups and is well on the way to a fourth.
Jacobsen's final and perhaps most significant feat will come one day after his retirement becomes official, when Utah Valley University officially joins the Western Athletic Conference. The move to the WAC gives UVU something it has desired since its jump to Division I: a conference that holds an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Jacobsen was named the NACDA Athletic Director of the Year for the Junior/Community College West Region in 2000 and was the recipient of the William L. Miller Award in 2001, which is the administrator of the year award for the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletic Administrators (NATYCAA).
Personally, he and his wife are parents to four children and have 14 grandchildren. They currently reside in Springville, Utah in Hobble Creek Canyon. Jacobsen, originally from San Diego, has a bachelor's degree and master's degree from Brigham Young University.