Athletics official leaves University for job in Texas

Mike Halloran says the fundraising job is an opportunity of a lifetime.

by Tiff Clements

With approximately $36 million of private stadium fundraising remaining, a key University athletics official is leaving his post today.

Associate Athletic Director for Development Mike Halloran announced Jan. 9 he will leave the University for a position with Viscern, a Texas-based fundraising consulting firm.

“This was an opportunity that wasn’t going to come along again,” Halloran said.

He said he’s confident the team with which he worked on fundraising efforts, like the Golden Gopher Fund and the “Back to Campus” stadium campaign, will continue to bring donations, scholarships and endowments to the athletics program.

“Things are turning in a positive direction here, and they’ll continue to go that way,” Halloran said.

Athletics Director Joel Maturi said he is grateful for Halloran’s work during his six-year tenure.

“We hate to lose Mike, but we understand the move,” he said. “Mike has been a key component in the tremendous strides we’ve made in our fund raising and development area.”

Co-chairwoman of the “Back to Campus” stadium initiative Nancy Lindahl said Halloran’s fund-raising leadership will be missed.

“His shoes will be hard to fill,” she said.

Athletics department spokesman Kyle Coughlin said the search for Halloran’s replacement will begin in the coming weeks.

Halloran’s assistant, Joyce Guelich said the department’s staff will pick up any slack that Halloran might leave behind.

“He will definitely be missed,” she said. “But we have a good staff in place and we work very well with one another. So we’ll meet the challenge.”

“Working with him is never dull,” Guelich said. “He has a very strong work ethic, but he also has a great sense of humor and that’s been fun to work with.”

Halloran said that since he came to the University in August 2000, the athletics department’s endowment balance has doubled and total fund raising has quadrupled.

Prior to arriving at the University, Halloran, a native of Jackson, Minn., worked in fundraising roles across the Midwest for 18 years.

Though he didn’t attend the University, both his father and grandfather studied at the campus.

“So, I’m a third-generation Gopher,” Halloran said.

He said it is going to be difficult to leave his position.

“It’s real bittersweet. I loved my time at the ‘U.’ I’m going to really miss the relationships with the donors,” Halloran said. “They’ve become very close friends with myself and my family, they’ve done so much for us.”

He added he is going to have a hard time leaving the atmosphere of the University behind.

“I’m going to miss the Friday morning breakfast at Al’s with my buddies,” Halloran said. “I’m going to miss how great it is to be on a collegiate campus. Everything you really need is right here.”

Halloran and his family plan to move to Dallas this spring. He will serve as vice president of sales for Viscern, working under a former boss and mentor.