Clayton State University has announced Ryan Erlacher as the fourth Director of Athletics in the program’s 29-year history. He will start September 17th, 2018.
Erlacher will lead a championship athletics program that has quickly raised the university’s profile for academic achievement among its student athletes. He will be responsible for developing a strategic vision for the athletics program, as well as providing leadership to staff and student athletes. He will also manage the budget and compliance policy.
Erlacher, a Florida native, comes to Clayton State with a proven record of success in collegiate athletics at fellow Peach Belt Conference member Flagler College.
At Flagler he oversaw sports information, sports medicine, sports performance, game operations, marketing and promotions and academic enhancement, in addition to his core responsibilities as the head of NCAA Compliance.
In his eight years with the Saints, most recently as the senior associate athletic director for internal operations, he approved and executed game contracts, scholarships, purchases, and expense reports for the 16-sport program as well as oversaw a number of facility enhancement and renovation projects.
He assisted with athletics development by building upon alumni support, increased branding and merchandise sales, licensing, booster club involvement, and assisted with corporate partner relationships.
He also developed marketing and promotional events that generated record-setting attendance rates and sales, including a 10% annual increase in ticket sales as well as a 50% growth in concession revenues. As a result, Flagler Athletics broke single game and annual attendance records for baseball, softball, soccer and volleyball, including a 1,000-plus crowd for a 2015 men’s soccer game.
A champion of academics, Erlacher has made a remarkable impact on that institution, improving the average student athlete grade point average from 2.87 when he first arrived to 3.0 or better for the fourth consecutive year and seventh straight semester.
From 2014-17, Flagler Athletics earned the Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence as a result of its sterling NCAA Academic Success Rate (ASR). Since coming in at 92% among the nation’s top performers in 2014-15, that number has climbed to 94% in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
Erlacher’s leadership has garnered the Saints national recognition and several awards, including the NCAA Sportsmanship Award and the NCAA Community Engagement Award.
A graduate of Flagler, Erlacher earned his Bachelor of Arts in Sport Management in 2004 and his Master of Science in Sport Administration from Florida State in 2007.
Thomas J. Hynes, President of Clayton State University, had to say, “Ryan Erlacher brings a wealth of experience to the university. We look forward to his leadership in our efforts to continue to grow and strengthen our athletics program.”
Erlacher himself had to say, “My family and I are thrilled to be joining Clayton State University. I am grateful for the opportunity and honored to lead this athletics program. I look forward to serving Clayton State University, our coaches, staff, community, and most importantly, our student athletes. Our commitment to student-athlete welfare and their overall experience will always be priority number one. Lastly I would like to thank President Hynes and the entire selection committee for this tremendous opportunity and for having the confidence in me to serve as the next Director of Athletics at Clayton State.”