Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard leaving Rice in July
Athletic Director Joe Karlgaard will be leaving Rice at the end of July, according to an email sent by President Reggie DesRoches on June 20. Karlgaard will assume a new position as CEO of GSV Summit LLC, a privately-owned investment company.
“Joe Karlgaard has led and benefited our athletics programs across several periods of exceptional growth and challenge, including, most recently, the COVID-19 pandemic,” DesRoches wrote.
Karlgaard previously worked in athletics both at Oberlin College and his alma mater, Stanford University. He joined Rice in October 2013, citing Rice as a happy medium between his previous two employers.
Less than a year into his tenure, Karlgaard released a four-point "Vision for Rice Athletics" strategy, according to a December 2014 article in the Thresher. His approach highlighted athletic competition, academic prowess, post-graduate achievement, increased fundraising and improved facilities.
DesRoches said that Karlgaard has accomplished many of these goals in his nearly decade-long tenure, overseeing Rice Athletics’ adaptations in the face of COVID-19 and facilitating its shift to the American Athletic Conference in 2023.
"Since his arrival on South Main, Joe has overseen a dramatic reshaping of Rice Athletics, providing upgrades to all facets of the student-athlete experience focused on dynamic initiatives in business operations, branding, marketing and fundraising," DesRoches said.
Karlgaard has also overseen a number of coaching changes over the years. He hired football coach Mike Bloomgreen in 2017, and a year later he refused to renew baseball coach Wayne Graham’s contract after a 27-year long tenure.
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