Aug. 15, 2012
FORT COLLINS, Colo.--Former Colorado State student-athlete Greg Pollard will return to his alma mater as an academic coordinator, it was announced Wednesday. The former Ram football standout from 1996-99 will begin his duties Aug. 20.
Pollard will work with student-athletes from a number of different sports to help them achieve academic success. He comes back to CSU after serving since 2009 as Dean of Students at Aurora (Colo.) West College Preparatory Academy. In that position he has designed and implemented behavioral expectations and a mentoring program for at-risk male students.
"We're really excited about the hire of Greg Pollard, and what he brings to our academic program," said head football coach Jim McElwain. "Once again, we're reaching into our past to help our future. What he has done with his life since he graduated from Colorado State, to become successful, and now to be able to give back to the student-athletes here, he's an invaluable resource. He's well-deserving, and we're looking forward to working closely with him."
Pollard had remained close to the CSU program since earning his bachelor's degree from the school and beginning his career in education. That relationship grew stronger last spring when Pollard worked with the academic services staff as a mentor through the John Mosley Student-Athlete Mentoring Program.
"Greg became one of the mentors from the program's inception," said assistant athletic director for academic services Steve McDonnell. "From that experience and his own desire to work with young people, he really expressed a genuine interest in working with us in this field, and I think he'll be an excellent addition to our staff. It's a real testament to the program itself, but also a testament to Greg and his incredible passion for working in this profession,"
Pollard earned his master's degree in education from Biola University, where he maintained a 3.4 GPA. For his thesis project he researched collegiate student-athletes and created a curriculum for African American collegiate student-athletes to increase graduation and retention rates.
"My philosophy is to inspire and motivate student-athletes to become and remain life-long learners who identify and achieve their purpose in life outside of sports," Pollard said. "I will encourage every student-athlete to view life as the biggest game they will ever play. The `Game Time' or `Game Day' mentality must be implemented in the classroom, on the field, and in life."
After playing professional football in the Canadian Football League, Pollard began teaching and mentoring student-athletes as athletic director at the Boys and Girls Club of Los Angeles. He continued his teaching career at Erikson High School as a special education teacher, then as an English/language arts teacher at Inglewood High School before taking his most recent position at Aurora West College Prep.
Pollard's return to CSU comes at a time when McElwain has placed great emphasis on reaching into the program's past to bring more former Rams back to campus in a variety of ways. Already in their 2012 fall camp, CSU's players have welcomed former All-America safety Greg Myers and former head coach Sonny Lubick back to campus to speak to the team.
A defensive lineman from Gardena, Calif., Pollard played in 41 career games for the Rams compiled 124 tackles. He burst onto the scene as a sophomore in 1997 as he racked up 28 tackles and eight tackles for loss. Pollard helped lead the Rams to an 11-2 record and a 35-24 victory over Missouri in the Holiday Bowl.
That 1997 Rams team was arguably the best in school history, when Pollard played alongside future NFL standouts Joey Porter, Clark Haggans and Adrian Ross. Pollard's best individual season came in 1998, when, as a junior, he record 43 tackles and nine tackles for loss. That same year CSU went to East Lansing, Mich., and upset Michigan State 23-16.
As a senior Pollard helped the Rams earn co-Mountain West Championship honors and a berth in the Liberty Bowl. Pollard had 34 tackles and a career-high four sacks in 1999.
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