Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades issued the statement below Thursday.
Ready for play in August of 2014, state-of-the-art, on-campus stadium will seat at least 40,000.
Houston student-athletes record highest fall GPA and cumulative GPA in program history.
Statements from University of Houston and Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco
In a short time, Rhoades has electrified the Athletics Department and the city of Houston with his bold plans and vision of Cougar Athletics for the future.
His impact was immediately seen in 2009-10 during his first season as he led the Athletics Department to unprecedented heights. Under his watch, the football program returned to the national rankings - rising as high as No. 12 - the men's track and field teams swept the indoor and outdoor titles and the men's basketball team won its first Conference USA Tournament crown. Houston became the first Conference USA school to win championships in football, men's basketball and baseball.
Those accolades also extended into the classroom. Nearly 120 student-athletes earned a place on the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
Rhoades continued to push his bold plans into the summer. The Athletics Department unveiled plans for a new football stadium on the current Robertson Stadium site and an extensive renovation of Hofheinz Pavilion. At $160 million, those plans are the most ambitious in the Department's history.
Rhoades also has been a leader in the development of the Cougar Pride Leadership Academy. As one of just a handful across the nation, the program brings student-athletes together as freshmen through to graduation with activities that promote the complete person.
During his tenure, the numbers alone spoke for themselves: 765 total Dean's List honors, 213 All-Conference honors, 83 student-athletes named Academic All-Conference, 20 team championships won, 14 Conference Players of the Year and 12 All-Americans to name a few.
All the on-field success was matched off the field as well. In 2006, Akron's federal graduation rate was 60 percent, exceeding the general student body's by 25 percent. In 2008, UA's student-athlete federal graduation rate stood at 75 percent. Also, Akron's overall student-athlete GPA increased from 2.789 to 2.964.
Not to be lost in the excellence on the field and in the classroom is the fact that UA student-athletes completed more than 1,600 hours of community service during his last three years.
Most impressively, Rhoades led Akron to success while balancing the budget each of his last three years. In 2008-09, he implemented a zero-based budget, where coaches and unit heads pre-planned spending in order to present a need-based budget proposal to the University Board of Trustees. With a proven track record of budget management and proactive steps, Rhoades gained support from University officials, allowing the department's budget to grow from $13.5 million to $19.2 million during his tenure.
His drive for perfection and expectation of excellence quickly put his name on the map nationally. Rhoades served as a member of the NCAA Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet -- also serving on the Administrative Committee of that cabinet as well as leading the communications committee for the MAC.
On the business end of the spectrum, Rhoades played a key role and was chairperson on the steering committee in the Zips' new on-campus football and multi-use facility -- InfoCision Stadium/Summa Field -- which opened in September 2009.
He also oversaw vast improvements to all facilities. James A. Rhodes Arena enjoyed new office space for all programs and units, expansion and renovation of academic services, a volleyball office suite, an academic advising suite, a media work room and locker room upgrades for all basketball programs. Lee Jackson Field Complex saw the creation of a new softball facility allowing the program to play on campus, resurfacing the baseball field and enhancing the dugouts, renovation to the soccer field and renovation of the track & field complex, refurbishing the track surface, adding 1,500 permanent seats and ornamental fencing.
The field house also welcomed a new program under Rhoades' watch with the creation of the women's golf program, which shared the state-of-the-art indoor practice facility with the UA men.
Financial success was not limited to just dollars from the University.
UA football went from reporting an average of approximately 5,000 fans per game to going beyond the NCAA-required 15,000 in each of his three years. With the addition of InfoCision Stadium, revenue and season ticket sales for 2009 already were at an all-time high. Also, men's basketball season ticket sales increased each year, while the success of the men's soccer team brought on the demand for season-ticket packages for the first time in 2009.
Rhoades increased staffing levels across the department, adding 10 full-time assistant coaches and creating more than 30 full-time and graduate assistants positions within the department.
In his final role with UTEP, Rhoades oversaw all fundraising, the marketing and media relations offices as well as football external operations, men's basketball, men's golf, licensing, Miner Athletic Club and the athletics ticket office.
While at UTEP, Rhoades administered the Athletic Major Gift Program, through which $9.1 million was raised. He also was instrumental in increasing marketing revenue from $800,000 to $1.33 million in just four years. In addition, he guided UTEP to being among the conference leaders in attendance for football and men's basketball.
Rhoades was heavily involved in athletics facility upgrades at UTEP, including the construction of the $11 million Larry K. Durham Sports Center which houses state-of-the-art football coaches' offices and locker rooms, as well as a training room and strength and conditioning center for all sports.
Rhoades worked for one year as an athletics marketing assistant for Yale, where he developed marketing plans for football, men's basketball, men's ice hockey and the NCAA Fencing Championships. Additionally, he obtained sponsorship agreements for Yale Athletics.
He and his wife, Amy, have three daughters - Nicolette, Natalie and Noelle.