When the Arkansas State University athletics program reaches its 100th birthday this year, Dean Lee's name will figure prominently in the celebration.
ASU athletics is entering its 100th year and Lee still has a little more time to continue restoring the old and building new tradition for Arkansas State.
Under Lee's direction, the ASU athletic department enjoyed another significant year in 2008-09. Not only did ASU enjoy some of the most exciting moments ever on the fields, courts, and tracks, but also in the arenas of academics, donor and alumni involvement, community service and achievement.
The 2008 AAFF's Outstanding Athletic Director, Lee serves on the NCAA Men's Basketball Issues Committee, the BCS Athletic Directors Advisory Committee and the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association Board of Trustees.
He has guided the athletic department to annual success academically and competitively, but last year ASU athletics once again enjoyed growth through a number of unique accomplishments and projects as well.
For instance, the ASU Athletic Department received the largest single donation in its history, a $400,000 gift from Charles Luter that will be used to enhance the athletic academic facility. ASU secured an unprecedented $1 million contract for its Sept. 4, 2010 football game at Auburn, the Red Wolves set a school-record in football attendance, festivities such as Jazz in Jonesboro continued to grow and improve, the bowling team made its second straight appearance in the NCAA National Championships and two student-athletes were named Academic All-America as well. His vision for ASU Athletics was revealed in a video called "Inside A-State Athletics, which focuses on the Red Wolves athletic programs and how the athletic department plans to meet challenges in the future.
As recent as 2008, 206 field-level seats and new party boxes available for corporate events were added to Tomlinson Stadium, the Convocation Center weight room underwent major renovations that included new weights and cardio equipment and Lee was instrumental in the recruitment and hiring of John Brady, who was just two years removed from an NCAA Final Four appearance, as the Red Wolves new men's basketball coach.
Those are just a few of the many ways the ASU athletic department has continued to develop under Lee, who is always looking for new and creative ways to take the Red Wolves athletic program to the next level while maintaining its main focus on academics, competitive performance and a well-rounded environment for student-athletes.
Entering his eighth year as Director of Athletics, Lee is even hungrier for ASU to have continued success in all areas. He has already made great strides in enabling Arkansas State's Department of Athletics to become one of the most respected programs around.
Dr. Lee became ASU's 10th Director of Athletics July 9, 2002. It wasn't long before the department began to experience important and progressive changes which were capped by an unprecedented "State of A-State" address in the spring of 2004.
When he concluded the address to a packed house, there was no mistaking that he is committed to building a successful program at ASU.
In a very short time, he has orchestrated sellout and capacity crowds, overseen the expansion and growth of ASU's athletic facilities, and provided sound leadership to both the athletic staff and population of student-athletes.
Lee came to ASU from Oklahoma State University, where he was the Associate Director of Athletics for External Operations.
His administrative experience at two NCAA Division I-A universities, OSU and the University of Arkansas, and his achievements in mobilizing financial support make him well-suited for Arkansas State University and Northeast Arkansas. While at the University of Arkansas, Lee served as the Vice President of the Razorback Foundation.
In addition, Dr. Lee's experience as athletic director at Arkansas Tech University and his familiarity with ASU and the state of Arkansas help him feel right at home.
He earned his bachelor's degree in 1979 and master's in education at Henderson State University, then completed his doctor of education degree at the University of Arkansas in 1989.
Although born in Tulsa, Okla., Lee competed in high school sports in Berryville, Arkansas, and was selected to play in the all-Star basketball and football games in 1975.
He also played basketball, baseball and tennis at Henderson State, where he later served as an assistant coach. He played in two national championship games as a member of Henderson State's basketball team. He was head basketball coach at Malvern High School early in his career.
Dean and wife Reba are the parents of two daughters, Diamond Olivia (14) and Anna Pearl (12).