Torre Chisholm leads the Horde
A SCREAMING, RAUCOUS crowd is Michael “Torre” Chisholm’s payoff.
It is the prize for a job well done, which at University of California, Santa Barbara, meant creating the Gaucho Locos student spirit group and at UC Irvine, the Completely Insane Anteaters.
It has to be a relief for Chisholm, PSU’s new athletics director, to take on the Viking Horde, a name with some muscle behind it and not too many syllables.
As of May 1, Chisholm, 37, is set to oversee the University’s 16-team Intercollegiate Athletics program: nine women’s and seven men’s programs, including the addition of men’s and women’s tennis in the coming year.
Chisholm succeeds Tom Burman, who left Portland State in February 2006 for University of Wyoming.
Teri Mariani ’76, former longtime softball coach, has occupied the position on an interim basis for more than a year.
The tasks are already set out for Chisholm: increase fundraising, enhance marketing, and capitalize on the addition of former NFL head coach Jerry Glanville, Portland State’s new football coach.
“We have a phenomenal chance for the University to raise its visibility,” says Chisholm of Glanville’s hiring. “He can sell any recruit and he definitely found a recruit in me.”
Chisholm was on campus interviewing for the AD job the same day PSU held a news conference to introduce Glanville. “I was thinking, I want to be a part of this,” recalls Chisholm. “This would be a great platform from which to launch something big.”
AT UC IRVINE, Chisholm had been associate athletic director for development and marketing since 2000. He helped the Anteaters—a member of the Big West Conference along with UC Santa Barbara—increase fundraising by 200 percent, increase sponsorships by 150 percent, and secure funds for construction of a sports medicine center and for the Anteater ballpark.
Chisholm’s previous nine years at UC Santa Barbara were spent working his way up from assistant women’s volleyball coach to assistant athletic director. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the university.
Fundraising is something Chisholm is good at, but it is not his only skill. His creation of student spirit groups is testament to his friend-raising ability. The Completely Insane Anteaters now have more than 3,000 members. “It’s tradition with a twist,” says Chisholm. He also has experience with booster and varsity clubs, and at UC Irvine co-founded a homecoming celebration.
In his new role at Portland State, Chisholm will have the opportunity to work with a growing Viking program. PSU has won six conference championships in the past four years—three by women’s golf, one each by soccer, softball, and men’s basketball. In addition, the track and field program continues to climb in the Big Sky Conference standings, the women’s volleyball team is coming off back-to-back 21-win seasons, and the women’s basketball team has seen two consecutive years of improvement in the standings.
Most of the programs compete in the Big Sky Conference except wrestling, which is a member of the Pac-10 Conference, and softball, which is a member of the Pacific Coast Softball Conference.
“PSU has tremendous potential, combined with outstanding coaches and staff,” says Chisholm. “Together, we will continue to build the University’s athletic tradition.”
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