Director of Athletics Finalist
A 20-year veteran of intercollegiate athletics administration, Jim Sarra recently completed his seventh year at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA).
Sarra was promoted to Deputy Director of Athletics in August 2009. In his current role, Sarra is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Roadrunners Athletics Department and ensuring that all facets of the department remain supportive of the educational mission of the University.
Sarra supervises the units of Academic Services, Compliance and Strength & Conditioning. He also is the sport administrator for the men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s cross country and men's and women's track & field programs.
Under Sarra’s tutelage, Academic Services has seen an increase in the number of student-athletes achieving a 3.00-or-higher GPA as well as an increase in the number of student-athletes named to the Southland Conference Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll. During the last three years, UTSA has placed an average of 120 student-athletes on the league’s honor roll, compared to an average of 79 over the six years prior.
Additionally, Sarra helped implement an academic improvement plan that has resulted in an average increase of nearly 20 points in the department’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) during the last two reporting periods.
Prior to his appointment as Deputy AD, Sarra served as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs from 2007-09, Associate Athletics Director for Administration from 2006-07 and Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance from 2005-06.
Sarra previously was responsible for direct oversight of corporate sponsorship sales, marketing & promotions, media relations and ticket operations. He also led UTSA fundraising efforts through the department's annual fund. During Sarra’s tenure as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs, UTSA saw an increase in ticket sales, corporate sponsorships and fundraising membership and donations.
For the last seven years, Sarra also has been directly involved in helping UTSA secure and host several NCAA Championship Events. Sarra served as Tournament Manager for the 2011 Women’s NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship, the 2011 Men’s Basketball Southwest Regional and 2010 Women’s Basketball Final Four.
Sarra came to UTSA from the University of Maryland where he was a Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Student Services. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the compliance office as well as supervision of the men’s golf program.
Prior to Maryland, he served in many different administrative roles at Washington State, Portland State, TCU, Ball State, Northwestern and St. Bonaventure.
Sarra was selected to and is a graduate of the NCAA Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Males and Females and NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program. Sarra also is a 2012 graduate of the Sport Management Institute.
Sarra earned a bachelor’s of science degree in elementary education and a master’s of science degree in advanced teacher education from St. Bonaventure in 1989 and 1990, respectively. He also earned a master’s of science degree in sport management from Western Illinois in 1993.