Cal Poly athletics may be getting a bit prettier.
Current Indiana State athletics director Ron Prettyman will interview for Cal Poly’s athletics director position this week, he said. He will meet chair of the search committee Larry Kelley and others in the upcoming days and go through interviews Wednesday and Thursday. He will also participate in an open forum this Thursday in Mott Gym from 11:30 a.m. to noon.
It is the first athletics director finalist who has gone public since former Cal Poly athletics director Alison Cone retired in December.
“I know Alison Cone and I think she was a terrific administrator and I think Phil Webb, the interim AD, has been doing a nice job holding things together,” Prettyman said. “I think (Cone) was a great leader, great administrator.”
If Cal Poly does go in the direction of Prettyman, it will bring in a man who has 28 years of experience under his belt. Prior to his position at Indiana State, Prettyman was athletics director at Vangard University for 13 years, Cal State Dominguez Hills for 10 and Indiana State for five. Come summer, he will have wrapped up his sixth full year.
And if he plays his cards right, Prettyman may spend his next year with the Mustangs — something he is looking forward to, he said.
“I am very interested,” Prettyman said. “That is why I have stayed in it this long. There are a lot of intriguing things about Cal Poly, and I do love where I am, but the academic success at Cal Poly, the athletic success and the opportunity to return to my home state are all very intriguing to me.”
Prettyman was born in Bakersfield, moved to San Diego, went to high school in San Leandro and then went to college in Costa Mesa at Vangard University. But he said proximity to his hometown isn’t the only positive of taking the Cal Poly job.
“I think things are in order at Cal Poly,” Prettyman said. “Alison did a nice job, she hired good people and the facilities are decent. I think some attention needs to be paid attention to the basketball facility. But some of the other facilities look nice.”
Building new facilities and raising revenue for athletic programs is exactly Prettyman’s specialty. While at Indiana State, Prettyman poured in $2.2 million for renovations to Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium (home of the baseball team) and is in the process of adding to Memorial Stadium (home of the football team).
He also does a great job of finding the right coaches to ensure teams succeed in their new venues, Indiana State men’s basketball coach Greg Lansing said.
“We’re riding an unbelievable momentum right now and it’s because of Ron Prettyman,” Lansing said. “Things are a lot better than when he got here. Basketball has improved and won some championships, football has been built from nothing, baseball has had a resurgence and a large part of that is to give credit to Ron.”
With everything considered, for Lansing, the decision is a no brainer.
“(Prettyman) is a good one,” Lansing said. “If Cal Poly could get him, I think it would be a steal.”
The two other finalists were announced in a press release Tuesday afternoon. San Diego State senior associate athletics director Don Oberhelman and Portland State athletics director Mike “Torre” Chisholm have been tabbed as the two other candidates for the position.