OREM — Utah Valley University's search for a new athletic director, one that took them through a list of "national candidates" is over.
As it turns out, the best candidate is on campus the whole time.
Jared Sumsion, the university's longtime associate athletic director and a native of Utah County, has been promoted to athletic director, UVU president Astrid Tuminez announced Friday.
Sumsion replaces Vince Otoupal, who left Utah Valley in February to take a position as director of major gifts at the University of Utah. The Orem-based college with the largest student population in the Beehive State immediatley promoted Sumsion to interim athletic director at the time, and formally removed the "interim" tag Friday morning.
As interim athletic director, Sumsion has already made his first head coaching hire in basketball boss Mark Madsen, and he also helped former women's basketball coach Cathy Nixon transition into a senior associate athletic director role.
Sumsion served as student-body at Utah Valley University, where he received a bachelor's degree before receiving a master's of business administration and eventually finishing a doctorate in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
But the Springville native has always claimed UVU as his alma mater, and now leads an athletic department that features 330 students spread across 16 Division I sports and 84 staff members, with addition roles in fundraising, annual giving, donor relations, corporate partnerships, strategic planning, marketing, branding, licensing, media relations, game operations and ticket sales, among other duties.
"I"m extremely grateful for the opportunity and trust that the university has shown me," Sumsion said. "UVU transformed my life. I love this university and what it's meant to my family and me. I'm ready to hit the ground running.
"Our student-athletes and staff are second to none. We have an incredible fanbase and devoted community, and together we will do amazing things."
During his time at UVU, Sumsion has worked with athletes across the department, with particular emphasis in his previous roles with men's and women's soccer, baseball, cross country, track and field, and wrestling. A former football standout at Springville High, he's also connected with the local community in a unique way for the state's largest university that recently graduated 5,953 students.
"After a thorough review, our search committee found that Jared demonstrated the commitment and track record on exceptional leadership, care, and results that align with UVU's values and direction," Tuminez said. "He places our student-athletes at the heart of all that he does. He will usher in a new era of athletic excellence at UVU."
Sumsion arrived at UVU as an assistant to former university president William Sederburg prior to moving into the athletic department. He also worked for Intermountain Healthcare from 2001-05, where he was a surgical assistant.
He and his wife Stephanie are the parents of four children.