In a somewhat surprising move, University of Denver Athletics Associate Vice Chancellor for External Affairs Ryan Peck has decided to leave DU to take a similar senior athletic administration position at the University of North Texas, in DU’s former Sun Belt Conference. Peck came to DU from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2011 and was promoted to his current position in 2014.
“Ryan Peck is one of the bright up and coming leaders in collegiate athletics,” said North Texas Athletic Director Wren Baker (North Texas AD) in a prepared statement. “[Peck] has broad experience at the University of Denver and has been instrumental in the tremendous progress made there. He will bring a new energy to our external units with a particular focus on fundraising and revenue generation,” according to a Sept 30 article in the Mean Green Blog of the Denton (Texas) Record and Chronicle.
Peck had quite a portfolio at DU for an athletic administrator in his early 30s, where he oversaw fundraising, ticketing, marketing, communications, corporate sponsorships, creative, and technical services. One of his largest projects has been fundraising for the new men’s hockey locker room, which is expected to be remodeled following this upcoming season.
Baker, 37, was interim Athletic Director at the University of Missouri before taking the UNT athletic director job in July of 2016. Baker has since restructured UNT’s athletic department and his hiring of Peck is targeted at growing UNT’s small list of less than 1,000 donors (currently fifth place in fundraising among SBC schools), despite being a Division I football school. Peck has grown DU’s Pioneer Movement fundraising program to increasing success. The Pioneer Movement had about 1,200 donors in 2011 (when Peck joined DU) and has since doubled to over 2,400 donors in 2016, according to the most recent program brochure.
On a personal note, Ryan was one of the people who supported and encouraged many of us to intensify our our interest in Pioneer athletics. He is a tireless worker and his enthusiasm for DU was apparent to even the most casual friend of DU athletics. He also was great friend of DU alums and of this blog, LetsGoDU. His ambition and talent in this new role at North Texas will add D-I football to his resume and perhaps catapult him into a power conference AD role someday – or perhaps he could be a candidate to return to Denver if and when DU AD Peg Bradley-Doppes decides to retire or moves to another school at some point in the future.
No immediate replacement for Peck has been named. Bradley-Doppes has proven to be an excellent talent evaluator during her tenure at DU. However, filling the shoes of this multi-talented Associate Vice Chancellor will be a big challenge.
One thing is certain — Ryan will always be a Denver Pioneer. He will be missed prowling the hallways and bleachers of almost all Pioneer home games talking to fans.
Best of luck, Ryan! Go
Mean Green Pioneers! (We just couldn’t do it, Ryan).