FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Terry Tumey is approaching the five-year anniversary of his appointment as athletic director at Fresno State. A time where the Bulldogs have won two Mountain West championships on the football field and experienced success in other areas of the department.
But there is still room to grow as the Bulldogs exit a pandemic that caused the department to cut three sports. "I do believe that the success of football has catapulted us into that rarefied air that we're in right now," Tumey said.
Despite the failure of ballot measure E, which if passed, would have funded improvements to Valley Children's Stadium, Tumey is determined to continue taking steps toward stadium improvements saying 'our stadium must look the part' of other Power 5 institutions.
"I know we had a setback prior with Measure E," Tumey said. "But that's not going to stop us. We still have very much of a planned approach that we're looking at for our stadium renovations."
Tumey says a plan will be announced 'in the very near future.'
PART TWO OF FULL INTERVIEW:
When asked about who holds the chips in conference realignment, Tumey said it's up to television networks like ESPN, FOX and even Amazon who are in the midst of negotiations with conferences.
"I don't think about Fresno State as a Mountain West institution, which means I'm in a certain (group of five) category," Tumey said. "I think about Fresno State as an entity and a brand that is commensurate to a Stanford, a Cal, a Washington State, an Oregon State, a Baylor, so any of those institutions that used to be considered Power 5 are really now our colleagues."
That is why Tumey calls FS' potential expansion to a conference like the Pac-12 or Big 12 "a real possibility."
"We see that your brands and how you've represented yourself is commensurate to our departments," Tumey said of discussions from conferences and television networks. "That's the key."
Tumey's statements come in the same week a symbolic resolution was passed by the Fresno City Council to urge Power 5 conferences to take notice of FS' athletic and academic achievements.
Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer told Action News he doesn't want to see a move limited as 'PAC-12 or bust' saying "I think we have a lot of things in common with the Big 12. Certainly the Pac-12, with a lot of West Coast teams, makes it convenient for travel...but also when you look at the Big 12, a lot of Midwest towns, a lot of Midwest programs are very similar to our culture here in the Valley."
Tumey spoke to the Council's resolution saying 'Our brand will not be looked over anymore.'
"That's a compliment to all the years past whether it's from (Jim) Sweeney, to (Pat) Hill, and now, of course to coach (Jeff) Tedford. We're telling the Power 5 conferences we're viable and I think they're starting to pay attention to it."