Mike LaPlante kicks off his eighth year at Colorado State. He joined the athletic department on April 1, 2004.
LaPlante, 40, is charged with coordinating development efforts and the cultivation of major gifts in support of the university's 16 sports. His experience in athletics in general and with donor cultivation and development has played a critical role in the growth of Colorado State's athletic program.
Leading five staff members in the areas of development, special events, donor relations and the Ram Club, CSU's annual fund, his group's collective focus is on expanding the department's efforts to provide student-athletes and coaches the resources necessary to compete at the highest levels nationally.
LaPlante has led numerous fundraising efforts, most recently leading athletics fundraising initiatives as part of the university's Campaign for Colorado State, a seven-year, $500 million effort. Thus far, the athletics department has raised $27.5 million toward this effort, including the department's newest buildings, a spectacular indoor practice facility and an academic and training center, both of which opened in Fall 2009. Previously, he has led efforts to enhance athletic facilities such as the Jack Christiansen Track facility, the Joey Porter Locker Room and the building of an indoor golf practice facility, the Harmony Center.
In addition to the facility improvements, LaPlante has directed vast improvements for the department ,including significant growth in the Ram Legacy of Champions scholarship program, the Junior Ram Club and the Varsity Athletes Club. LaPlante has also led an effort to increase the number of scholarship endowments and estate gifts to athletics. Additionally, LaPlante has played a key role in expanding CSU's reach into the Denver market, home to more than 43,000 alumni, by adding a full-time staff member to operate a Denver development effort. In Spring 2010, LaPlante led the implementation of the Ram Point System to reward fans for their loyal support of CSU Athletics.
LaPlante was promoted to associate athletic director in the fall of 2007. He came to Colorado State after having held a similar position at Cal Poly, where he was associate athletic director for advancement (2000-04). In that role, he oversaw marketing, sponsorship sales and fundraising, and directed a university-wide campaign for athletics that eventually surpassed a goal of $12 million. Prior to his time at Cal Poly, LaPlante served as assistant director of the Aztec Athletic Foundation at San Diego State University. He began his athletic administration career at SDSU in 1993 as an intern in the marketing and development area.
A 1993 graduate of Bowling Green State University, he owns a bachelor's degree in sport management. Born in Toledo, Ohio, he graduated from the city's St. John's High School.
LaPlante and his wife Korin have three children, sons Will and Griffin, and daughter Georgia.