University of Hawaii at Manoa Chancellor Tom Apple announced Friday that Ben Jay, Executive Associate Athletics Director for Finance and Operations at Ohio State University, has been selected as and accepted the job as UH Athletics Director.
More information, such as Jay’s official start date, length of contract and salary, will be shared with the public after approval of the appointment by UH System President M.R.C. Greenwood.
"I am delighted that Ben is joining us as UH Athletics Director, and know that he will be a great addition to our Manoa 'ohana with his vision and strong finance, accounting and compliance background," said Apple. "His extensive experience with the Pac-10 (now Pac-12) Conference, and Division I sports in general, will be invaluable in raising the University’s athletics and academics profiles nationally."
Jay has been employed by Ohio State University for six years. He heads the financial oversight of the Athletics Department, including being responsible for a $132.4 million operating budget in fiscal year 2012, instituting a new financial discipline environment to drive annual budget compliance, and initiating a collaboration with Ohio State’s Internal Audit Department to analyze and identify financial/operation weaknesses and insufficient internal controls.
Said Gene Smith, OSU Director of Athletics, "I am extremely proud and happy for Ben Jay and his family. Ben is a seasoned professional in intercollegiate athletics who will be sorely missed at OSU, but the University of Hawaii will benefit from his great leadership."
Previous to Ohio State, he served 13 years as Associate Commissioner for the Pac-10 Conference, and five years as Assistant Athletic Director for Business and Finance at Fairfield University in Connecticut. Jay earned a Bachelor in Science in Business Administration (major: Accounting/minor: Finance) and Master of Arts in Physical Education (major: Athletics Administration), both from Ohio State University. He is married and has three children.
Apple said many people should be credited with attracting such an impressive candidate as Jay to the UH Athletics Director job.
"We sincerely thank UH System Vice President Rockne Freitas for serving as Interim Athletics Director since July, and the members of the Athletics Director Search Advisory Committee, who volunteered so many hours of their valuable time and effort," said Apple. "I am also personally appreciative of the feedback relayed to me by our UH Manoa 'ohana, including alumni and community members, on this key leadership position."
Added Howard Karr, who chaired the A.D. Search Advisory Committee, "Ben Jay brings an extensive background in management and financial experience from big-time college athletics, has numerous valuable contacts, and possesses the vision, leadership skills, passion and integrity to take UH Athletics to the next level. UH and the community should be elated at the prospect of having our new A.D. be someone of Jay’s superior caliber."
Jay replaces Jim Donovan, who was given a new post following a bungled Stevie Wonder concert and athletic department fundraiser earlier this year. The university had cleared Donovan of any wrongdoing.
A state Senate report last month said the incident had tarnished the university's reputation nationally and within Hawaii.