COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., June 10/ USA Water Polo named Tom Seitz as its new Executive Director yesterday, after a five-month selection process. Seitz, 44, fills the void left by Bruce Wigo, who retired after 11 years in the position in January.
"I am excited about the opportunity with USA Water Polo," said Seitz. "The potential to grow the sport in the U.S. is tremendous. In turn, the opportunity to successfully compete at the international level will be enhanced. I look forward to working with the USA Water Polo family to advance the sport."
Seitz comes to USA Water Polo from Jacksonville State University in Alabama, where he has served as Athletic Director since March of 2000. While at Jacksonville State, Seitz was responsible for all aspects of the school's 16-sport NCAA Division I athletic program. During his time there, Seitz increased revenue by over 100%, launched new marketing and corporate sponsor campaigns within the community, and completed a $5 million athletic facility improvement plan. Jacksonville State also enjoyed unprecedented television coverage of its sports programs under Seitz's direction and the teams had the best combined winning percentage in the school's Division I history.
For nine years prior to his work at Jacksonville State, Seitz was the Athletic Director and Executive Director of the Athletic Foundation at Jacksonville University in Florida. Seitz was responsible for a three-fold increase in athletic contributions at JU and increased the number of sports from 14 to 20, doubling the size of the athletic staff in the process. Seitz was also instrumental in making Jacksonville University the best-covered school in its athletic conference, negotiating new television, radio, and multi-media contracts with a state-wide affiliate, tripling rights fee income for the school.
Seitz also served as the Executive Director of the Palm Beach County Sports Authority from 1990-1992, saving the organization from extinction and developing it into a successful entity through solicited sporting events, marketing and fundraising.
A search committee settled on Seitz after screening the applications of more than 50 candidates.
"When the dust settled, Tom came out on top," said Foster. "We were looking for an Executive Director with an extensive background in sports administration, marketing and fundraising. Tom really fit the bill. He has been an athletic director at two Division I universities and achieved great success in marketing and fundraising for those programs."
Seitz, who has an official start date of July 14, will spend the next month meeting with United States Olympic Committee officials, as well as USA Water Polo representatives and volunteers to pave the way for a smooth transition.
"Our last Executive Director, Bruce Wigo, laid a great foundation for Tom," said Foster. "Tom should flourish in our environment as we approach the 2004 Olympic Games. He will be under a lot of pressure to produce, but he will certainly be up to the task."
Seitz will be based in Southern California with his wife Karen and their two children Taylor, 13, and Brad, 10.