Ben Jay Named New Director of Athletics

With over 25 years of experience, the “national leader in collegiate athletics” is looking forward to taking teams to championships in the PacWest

Ben Jay

Ben Jay. Photo courtesy of Art U Athletics.

Academy of Art University Athletics and President Dr. Elisa Stephens have announced the appointment of Ben Jay as the department’s Director of Athletics. Jay, who brings over 25 years of collegiate athletics experience and was most recently Director of Athletics at the University of Hawaii, will be handed the baton from Senior Advisor of Athletics Terry Tumey, who departs Academy of Art to become director of Athletics at Claremont McKenna-Harvey Mudd-Scripps.

“Ben is a national leader in collegiate athletics,” said Tumey. “From his background with University of Hawaii, the Pac-10 Conference and The Ohio State University, we are both confident and honored to have him guide us into this next chapter of Academy of Art University Athletics.”

At the start of 2013, Ben Jay was formally introduced as the University of Hawaii’s Athletics Director where he would oversee 145 staff members and coaches along with the nearly 500 student-athletes who competed for the Rainbow Warriors’ 21 sports. 


His time there was highlighted by a cumulative 3.04 department grade point average, 73 percent graduation success rate, multi-million dollar radio and television rights agreements, and $29 million in construction or renovation of facilities. Jay was involved in all facets of financial planning, budget management, strategic planning, compliance, development and administration.

“I am very excited to join the Academy of Art University team as the new Director of Athletics,” said Jay. “I want to thank President Elisa Stephens for entrusting me to lead this unique athletic department of 16 Division II sports and the only art institution in the NCAA. We will focus on five areas in the athletic program: the artist-athlete experience, personnel, facilities, resource acquisition and communication.”

Before assuming his position at UH, Jay served a six-year tenure as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Finance and Operations at The Ohio State University. He headed 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.

 “I have two broader goals that we will aim for during my time as Director of Athletics,” said Jay. “Number one, we will graduate our artist-athletes. That’s our main goal here and our mission; it’s about the artist-athlete experience and we will make decisions based on what’s best for our students. Aside from academics, I have high hopes for our university’s athletic teams. We want to compete for championships in the PacWest Conference and we will hold ourselves to those standards. I look forward to helping our coaches with what they need to compete for championships.”

Prior to Ohio State, he served 13 years as the then-Pac-10 Conference’s Associate Commissioner for Business and Finance. Jay was directly responsible for Conference budget administration and expenditure control, financial accounting and related NCAA financial reports, and distribution of Conference revenues from various sources. He also oversaw the administration of Conference office operations and human resource duties.

“The Academy of Art University is very excited to have Mr. Jay as its new Director of Athletics,” said President Stephens. “His vast experience and fresh perspective will be a great addition to the Urban Knights. We look forward to having him.”