Strategic Plan 2021-2023 – University of Colorado Athletics

BOULDER – When the Colorado athletic director Rick george Arriving in Boulder in 2013, one of the first major strategies he employed was the implementation of a three-year UC athletics strategic plan which began in 2014.

The idea was to set concrete goals and a success plan designed to improve all areas of the ministry – and to make the plan public so that accountability is a centerpiece of the plan.

This year, George and his staff will embark on the most recent three-year plan, which will keep the common threads of the first two: ambitious but achievable competition goals for each sport; continued financial accountability across the department; and, more importantly, an ongoing commitment to providing a world-class experience for Buffs student-athletes.

But the latest plan – the third under George’s leadership – also includes a dedicated concept that UC officials say will improve every aspect of the student-athlete experience: the WHOLE athlete (wellness, health, optimal life experience).

Developed in large part by CU Arts and Sciences’ Assistant Research Dean, Dr Theresa Hernandez, Professor of Behavioral Neurosciences, the ENTIRE athlete’s goal is to improve every student-athlete program in order to make the experience of every athlete at UC as beneficial as possible. This includes not only their time in Colorado, but the next phase of their life after graduation as well.

“Developing the program for our student-athletes will be an important part of our next three years,” George said last week. “Dr Theresa Hernandez really got the idea of ​​the ENTIRE athlete and she really played a key role in it.

The ENTIRE athlete concept will not create a new program as much as it will work to integrate all the initiatives already in place to create a better overall and seamless experience. This includes advice through the Herbst Academic Center, Diversity and inclusive excellence programs, the Scripps Leadership and Career Development Program, and health and wellness programs.

The Herbst Academic Center was the driving force behind UC student-athletes producing the best GPA in Buffs history. The Scripps program has played a pivotal role in helping UC student-athletes develop careers after competition by providing life skills workshops, service learning experiences, and training programs. transition; and health and wellness programs – including specific nutrition, psychological health and performance departments – are essential to the overall development of the physical and mental well-being of student-athletes.

Diversity and Inclusive Excellence programs are part of UC’s long-standing heritage of promoting an environment that values ​​respect, empowerment and equal opportunity for all. A rapidly growing and increasingly popular D&IE initiative in recent years has been the Annual Inclusive Sports Summit, which brings together guest speakers and panels from across the country to engage the entire UC community and Boulder for round tables, debates and conferences.

UC will also begin using a software tool developed by Kitman Labs that will give each sport a student-athlete scorecard through which UC coaches, medical officers, nutritionists and academic advisors can track progress. progress of each athlete.

“I think this will allow us to create a program for our student-athletes that will be unique in varsity athletics,” said George. “It will encompass all areas that our student-athletes intersect to enhance their experience, which is part of our long-term vision – to create a world-class experience for our student-athletes. I’m excited about what this means. for our student-athletes to progress as it continues to evolve. “

In addition, the research stream that Dr Hernández and others will lead is unique to this program. This will allow CU Athletics to acquire significant research in specific areas to support our ENTIRE athlete program.

George pointed out that the ENTIRE athlete concept is the next step in what has always been the primary goal of the UC Sports Department: to make the student-athlete experience a world-class experience. in all respects.

“Student-athletes are always at the forefront of our decision making,” he said. “This is just a natural progression that allows us to provide them with even more opportunities in the areas of health and wellness, career development, academics and leadership. what we have already accomplished. “

A constant in every strategic plan has been the vision of the UC Sports Department: “To be nationally recognized as a premier athletics department, by providing a holistic and world-class student-athlete experience,” operating in a financially responsible manner, while competing and winning championships. “

But this year’s plan also included a mission statement for 2021-2023: “CU Athletics will win championships by recruiting and developing the ENTIRE athlete and challenging them, coaches and staff to succeed in our culture of excellence. “

In addition to a commitment to the ENTIRE athlete concept, the plan also includes two other defined strategic goals: To dramatically improve the overall competitiveness of CU Athletics; and significantly improve the financial position of CU Athletics. Both are extensions of the previous plans.

The former raised eyebrows during its initial implementation in the first strategic plan as it clearly set high goals for each UC sport. Some of those goals include winning at least one Pac-12 championship in football, men’s and women’s basketball, soccer, and lacrosse between 2020 and 2022. Other sports have even higher goals, cross-country. male and female aiming for the NCAA Championships.

“When we started this, everyone was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you put them out publicly,’ George said. “But I think you need to put your goals out there so people can see them and then communicate where you’re at in the process. Our coaches are committed to developing what those metrics look like and that’s important. the world has to have its buy-in for where we’re going. “

The plan will also continue to focus on financial stability, a priority established by George upon his arrival. Thanks to George’s guidance, CU Athletics has been on a stable financial footing for a short time after joining. While the challenges presented by the recent Covid-19 pandemic have undoubtedly presented new and unforeseen obstacles, George and his staff believe they are ready to guide the buffs through these issues.

“We are learning every day,” said George. “In the long term, we believe that we will emerge as a stronger, more efficient and more agile department with what we have learned through these times.

All of CU’s student-athlete initiatives are supported by donors. For more information on how to donate through the CU Buff Club, visit where to go to

Contact: [email protected]

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