View the first monthly update from Director of Athletics Vic Cegles, highlighting 49er accomplishments and advancements.
Primary donors Glen and Debbie Bickerstaff were also honored at the event.
2011-12 was a record year at Long Beach State
Men's cross country and men's volleyball score perfect 1,000
Generous $2 million donation by Debbie and Glen Bickerstaff made project possible
Cegles, who was hired as the school's 12th Director of Athletics in April 2006, has made an impact in the athletic department's ability to fundraise which is key to his goal of making Long Beach State not only the premiere school in the Big West Conference, but a player on the national stage when it comes to both athletics and academics.
Since coming to Long Beach State, Cegles has placed strong emphasis on resource acquisition targeting the annual fund, capital improvements, scholarship endowments, ticket sales and corporate sponsorships. He established what is now known as the Beach Athletic Club in 2006 and focused on centralizing annual giving. The reorganization has enabled teams to continue sport-specific solicitations and provide consistent recognition and benefits to donors.
The annual fund has increased in each year of Cegles' tenure, and in 2014 reached over $2 million dollars in total gifts towards Athletics.
Cegles continues to focus on facility enhancements and a $25 million capital campaign for athletics. Within the last year, Long Beach State replaced the original floor of the Walter Pyramid, updating the notable new main court design while also keeping the multiple-court activity area on an all-new, maple finish. Additionally, work has begun on replacing the Jack Rose Track, a major project to lift the aging facility to elite competition standards.
Other major projects that have been finished under Cegles include a $2 million expansion and renovation of the Walter Pyramid locker rooms, providing state of the art homes for men's and women's basketball and volleyball and a strength and conditioning center within the Walter Pyramid overlooking the floor. Additionally, new scoreboards have been installed for baseball, softball, soccer, tennis, and most recently, water polo, along with the installation of lights at George Allen Field.
Under Cegles' leadership the university entered a long-term 55-year lease with the city of Long Beach to operate the iconic Blair Field, ensuring an improved home for Dirtbag baseball. With that commitment, a $17 million campaign for improvements at Blair Field is underway, which includes a new practice infield, safer walls and remodeled batting cages, locker room, offices and suites at the iconic stadium. Four-time MLB All-Star Troy Tulowitzki pledged $1 million to the project, offered at his LBSU Hall of Fame induction this past year.
Cegles and Beach Athletics have also contracted with Learfield Sports Marketing, outsourcing all media and sponsorship rights with the national collegiate sales company. Learfield spearheads a commitment to increasing corporate sponsorships and sales of season and individual game tickets for baseball and basketball. Overall ticket revenues increased 15% in 2013-14, and Men's Basketball in particular has seen a massive rise in attendance, second in the Big West behind Hawai'i and featuring a prominent student section that has grown 118% since Cegles hired Dan Monson to coach the team.
Long Beach State has excelled both on the playing fields and in the classroom under Cegles' leadership. For the eighth consecutive year all NCAA sponsored teams at Long Beach State scored above the required 925 on the Academic Progress Rate (APR), the only California State University to do so under the four-year standard, and 83 student-athletes were recognized as Academic All-Conference honorees after meeting competition and academic standards, most often a 3.2 cumulative GPA.
Diversity in the coaching and administrative staff is a fundamental goal and the athletics department was recognized under Cegles' leadership in 2008 as a national NCAA diversity winner.
Competitively, in his eight seasons at the helm of the Long Beach State athletic department, the 49ers have won 31 conference championships, with 31 LBSU teams advancing to the NCAA Tournament.
Long Beach State has become the gold standard of the Big West Conference, winning four straight Commissioner's Cups, awarded annually to the most successful athletic department as a whole. The 49ers have won five of the last six cups, and set a competition points record in 2011-12.
The Beach captured three Big West Championships last season, in Women's Tennis, Men's Track & Field, and Softball, and along with the Tennis and Softball programs, the Dirtbags' baseball program made its return to the NCAA postseason in 2013-14. Women's Tennis has now won either the regular-season or tournament title in 11 straight seasons, and Men's Track and Field has captured the Big West Championship in three of the last four season.
In 2012-13, the Sand Volleyball program, established under Cegles' tenure, captured Long Beach State's 7th National Championship with a victory over Pepperdine, as Long Beach State became the first program to hold a national championship in both indoor and outdoor volleyball. The Men's Basketball program once again captured the Big West regular season championship under Dan Monson, winning three-straight championships for the first time since the 1975-1977 seasons.
Cegles has reorganized and refocused the entire administrative staff, and also negotiated new contract extensions for men's basketball coach Dan Monson and women's volleyball coach Brian Gimmillaro. During his tenure, Cegles has also hired nine new head coaches in softball, water polo, men's and women's golf, men's and women's basketball, and baseball.
From 2003-06 Cegles was the associate athletics director at Temple University where he directed athletics fundraising, marketing and promotions, sponsorship and ticket sales while planning an athletics capital campaign with university development.
Previously he was vice president of business development for Gaylord Sports Management in Scottsdale, Ariz., after serving 16 years at Arizona State University in athletic development and external affairs. He ultimately served as the lead senior associate athletic director for external affairs in his final two years at ASU.
While at Arizona State he led the athletics department's $25 million capital campaign to enhance facilities and endowments and, among other responsibilities, supervised baseball, men's and women's golf and women's gymnastics. He also was the assistant athletic director for development at Rutgers University for five years.
Cegles served as assistant basketball coach at Carnegie Mellon University and as an assistant basketball and baseball coach at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He holds a degree in business administration from Bucknell and a master's in counseling and student personnel services from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Cegles and his wife Bonnie have two sons. Vic, a former baseball standout at Rutgers, is the Director of External Relations for Athletics at Minnesota and Casey, a former wide receiver at Towson University, is Director of the Annual Fund for Old Dominion Athletics.
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