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Meet the Board
Board member since 2008
Jack grew up in Greeley, Colo., and graduated from Colorado State University in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Management and in 1967 with a master's degree in Wildlife Biology. While at CSU Jack worked summers for the National Park Service and Colorado Division of Wildlife and was founding president of the CSU student chapter of The Wildlife Society. Jack completed a 38-year career with the US Forest Service serving in assignments in New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, California, Colorado, Alaska, and two assignments in Washington, D.C., including one year for a U.S. Senator. Jack retired in 2005 and moved back to Fort Collins.
Jack played varsity baseball for CSU from 1962-65 and then coached the CSU freshman baseball team for one year. His son Craig played varsity baseball for CSU in the 1980s. Jack coached Little League baseball for eight years in Oregon and Colorado, high school summer baseball for two years in Colorado, and youth league basketball in Oregon and Colorado for six years.
Jack has three children and eight grandchildren. All three children attended CSU. Two children and five grandchildren live in Colorado. Jack is also an active member of the CSU Ram Club and is a lifetime member of the CSU Alumni Association, where he serves on the Board of Directors.
RAAA Vice President
Board member since 2013
Duan A. Ruff was raised in Denver, Colo., and now lives in Fort Collins with his wife and four children. He currently works for Colorado State University as the assistant director of the Black/African American Cultural Center.
Duan is a Mullen High School graduate who excelled in football and track and field. He received an athletic scholarship to Colorado State University for football and continued to participate in football and track and field on the collegiate level.
After receiving his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University, he received his MBA from the University of Phoenix while working full-time.
Duan loves Colorado State University and continues to find avenues to enhance the student athlete experience at his Alma Mater.
Del graduated from Colorado State University with an undergraduate degree in health science with a minor in coaching in 1963. He finished his master's degree in health science in 1964. Throughout his college career he spent his summer months fighting forest fires in the northwest with the smokejumpers.
Board member since 2007
He competed for the Rams in cross country and track and field, winning all-conference honors in both the 400 and 800 meters. Del was consistently ranked as one of the nations top-10 800 meter runners. He represented CSU in the NCAA championships, the USA championships, and the USA Olympic trials, and held the indoor school record in the 800 meters for 34 years.
Del coached at CSU for 17 years in two different eras, 1970-76 and again from 1996-06. Both his men and women's cross country teams competed in the NCAA championships numerous times while the track and field teams produced numerous All-Americans and four national champions. Del was inducted into the CSU Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.
Del is married to Laurie Hessel and has two sons, Mark and Andy.
Linda graduated from Colorado State University in 1986 with a bachelors of science degree in physical education with a concentration in wellness/fitness. She has worked for the State of Colorado since 1988, first at the University of Southern Colorado which is now Colorado State University - Pueblo and now at Colorado State University. She and her husband Rick have a six-year-old son who is the love of their lives.
Board member since 2005
She swam in 1981 in coach John Mattos' second class of swimmers and continued swimming under Coach Mattos through 1985. She was one of two seniors that swam and lettered for the four years. Linda swam the 400 Individual Medley, the 200 Butterfly and the 200 Breaststroke. She was always a supporter of her team.
Linda is currently a purchasing agent at CSU specializing in independent services contracts, hotel contracts, athletics and many unique services that the University requires. In her spare time Linda likes to travel with her family, play kids' games with her son and garden.
Mike graduated from CSU with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1974. Mike received a master's degree in Sports Administration from Ohio University in 1976.
Board member since 2010
Mike was a high jumper at CSU under coach Del Hessel. From Manhattan Beach, CA Mike was coached in high school by former CSU coach and athlete, Jerry Quiller. After injuries shortened his jumping career, Mike served as an undergraduate assistant for Coach Hessel.
Mike began his business career in market planning for the then new Copper Mountain ski area and then as Executive Director for The Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) before starting his own Sports marketing company, SportStar USA. In 1994, Mike purchased Omni Promotional, an event and promotional materials company located in Louisville, CO.
Mike and his wife Julie, have a daughter, Shelby and a son, Chase.
Board member since 2013
Greg "Roc" Pollard has remained close to the CSU program since earning his bachelor's degree in 2000 with a BA in liberal arts. He earned a master's degree in education from Biola University in 2007, where he researched collegiate student-athletes and created a curriculum for African American collegiate student-athletes to increase graduation and retention rates. The relationship between Greg and CSU grew stronger when Pollard worked with the Black/African American Cultural Center as a mentor through the John Mosley Student-Athlete Leadership Program in spring 2012.
During Greg's time as a student-athlete at CSU (95-00) he excelled as a defensive lineman with 105 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and 6 sacks. He became the first Ram football player to appear in three bowl games during his career. Pollard went on to play professional football in the Canadian Football League.
Greg joined the CSU staff in the fall of 2012 as an academic coordinator in the department of student-athlete academic/support services assisting with football and men's and women's track & field. During Greg's time in SAAS, he helped create the Black Student-Athlete Alumni Association.
Prior to joining the CSU staff, he worked as an educator and Dean of Students for the last 12 years. In his role as Dean of Students, Pollard designed and implemented behavioral expectations and a mentoring program for at-risk male students.
The Los Angeles, Calif., native and wife Maisha (Colorado State alum) have three daughters: Nyrema, Nyla, and Nia and two dogs: Brownie and Bentley.
Board member since 2013
Myron Terry attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, Calif., where he was a standout athlete in three sports (football, basketball, and track). He earned a scholarship to play football for the Rams under legendary coach, Sonny Lubick.
Myron began at Colorado State University in 1994 and graduated in 1998 with a degree in human development and family studies, with a minor in criminal justice. As part of the most successful senior class in Ram football history, Myron was key member of three Western Athletic Conference championship teams, leading the team in interceptions during three of his four seasons. For his efforts on the field, he was a 1997 All-WAC selection (Second Team) and a 1998 All-WAC selection (First Team). Following his career at CSU, Myron represented the Rams in both the 1998 East-West Shrine All-Star game and in the 1998 Hula Bowl.
Myron also excelled in the classroom and in the community. In 1996, he was selected to the academic all-conference team, and was honored nationally as part of the College Football Association's "Good Works" Team for his community service efforts.
For the past 13 years, Myron has used the skills and knowledge gained in Fort Collins to serve as a teacher and as a coach. Myron has taught United States history, world history, and American government while also coaching football and track in California and Georgia.
The former Ram now calls Atlanta, Ga., home. Myron and his wife Tasha, have three sons: Nikolas, Mekhi, and Melik.
Board member since 2014
Katie grew up in Livermore, Colo., about 30 minutes Northwest of Fort Collins, on a working cattle ranch. She graduated from Poudre High School in Fort Collins. Katie competed in both softball and track while at Poudre.
She graduated from Colorado State University in 2006 with a degree in health and exercise science. Katie was a member of the Rams track and field team from 2001-06. She earned all-conference and All-American honors in the discus during her career at CSU.
She currently works for UCHealth in their research and education department, teaching heart health education to students in the Northern Colorado region. She also coaches three sports at Poudre High School. Katie is in her second season as an assistant girls' basketball coach, coaching the C-team level. She has spent six seasons as the throws coach for both the boys and girls Impala track team. Katie was named the head softball coach this past December after serving two years as an assistant with the team.
Katie currently resides in Fort Collins, with her 4.5-year-old black lab Finn.
John E. Mattos
Board member since 2014
John graduated from Colorado State University in 1971 with a bachelor's degree in English. He was an All-American swimmer for CSU finishing 3rd and 5th in the 100/200 back at the 1969 NCAA D-I Championships and 7th and 5th in 1970. He was also and Honorable Mention All-American in 1969 in Water Polo. He came back to CSU and finished his college education in 1975 with his Teacher Certification in English. He was immediately hired at Fort Collin's Poudre High School as an English teacher and coached both the girls and boys HS swimming teams.
In 1980 John was hired to coach the Colorado State Women's Swimming and Diving Team and he remained their head coach for 31 years. He retired in July of 2011. Mattos had over 200 career dual meet wins. He guided the Rams to 77 individual conference titles, 2 District VII regional team titles, 5 High Country Athletic Conference championships, 2 Western Athletic Conference titles and 1 Mountain West Conference regular season team championship. He was named HCAC's Coach of the Year 3 times, the WAC Coach of the Year twice and the MWC Coach of the Year once. In 1994 his team finished 12th at the NCAA Division I Championships as legendary swimmer, Amy Van Dyken, became the first CSU swimmer to win an NCAA individual event championship while setting a new NCAA and US record in the 50 yard Freestyle. Amy earned Swimmer of the Year honors for her efforts at that championship meet and Mattos was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year by his peers. Amy went on to become the first woman from the USA to win 4 Gold Medals at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, GA and Mattos helped guide her to 2 more Gold's at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.
John was selected as an assistant coach to the US (long course) World Championship swimming team that competed in Rome, Italy in 1994. He was later named an assistant to the 2004 US (short course) World Championship team that competed at the Conseco Events Center in Indianapolis. He was inducted into CSU's Athletic Hall of Fame in November of 2005.
Along with wife, Connie, Mattos has lived in Fort Collins since 1975. They have a 20 year old daughter, Marissa Valorie, who graduated from Fossil Ridge HS where she was elected the girls swim team captain her senior year.
Kim Austin Mbadinga
Board member since 2014
Kim Austin Mbadinga, the director of operations for the women's basketball program, is beginning her third season working with the Rams. She was a 1998 graduate of Colorado State and she was a four-year letterwinner for the Rams, helping them to the Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles, then the program's first NCAA tournament bid in 1996 under head coach Greg Williams.
As a senior captain, Austin Mbadinga-Nzamba helped lead Colorado State to the WAC Mountain Division title and a trip to the NCAA tournament second round in 1998 with teammates Becky Hammon and Katie Cronin. During her career the Rams won 20 or more games in three seasons, advancing the NCAA tournament twice.
Kim, a native of El Paso, Texas, and her husband, Eric Mbadinga-Nzamba, have three children.
Board member since 2014
Pierce grew up in Arvada, Colo., and graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in business administration. He played on the men's basketball team at CSU from 2009-13 with two NCAA appearances in 2012 & 2013. Pierce currently works as a loan officer at Bank of Colorado in Johnstown, Colo.
Board member since 2014
Erik Olson holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and Master of Science in computer information systems from the College of Business at Colorado State University. While at CSU, Olson played football for the Rams and was later drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Following two years in the NFL, Olson returned to Fort Collins to open a Cold Stone Creamery and family-owned liquor store. His Cold Stone location ranked first in the state and in the top 10 nationally during the five years he owned the franchise.
From 2003 until 2006, Olson also worked as the color commentator for the CSU Rams football team. After graduating with his master's degree in 2004, he spent a short time at Hewlett-Packard before taking a job with the legendary Sidney Frank, a famous spirits importer who is credited with inventing the ultra-premium vodka category when he created Grey Goose Vodka. Olson spent five years working for Solvi Brands as the western states territory manager before rejoining the College of Business at CSU in 2009 as the director of development.
Olson resides in Fort Collins and enjoys golf, tennis, and spending time with his two boys, Brady and Luke.
Board member since 2014
Mark Graduated from CSU in 2012 after playing football for the Rams for four seasons. He was voted team captain his senior season by his teammates, many of whom, he remains close friends with today. The northern California native still resides in Fort Collin and is thrilled to call Colorado home.
During his his free time enjoys running, fishing, meeting new people and enjoying everything that Colorado has to offer.
Mark has his own practice in investment management and financial consulting in Fort Collins.
Board member since 2014
Arica grew-up in Fort Collins, CO graduating from Fort Collins High School in 1997. Following two successful softball seasons at Otero Junior College in La Junta, CO, she transferred to Colorado State University. Arica played her junior and senior seasons with the Rams (1999-2001).
She graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biochemistry. Following graduation, Arica attended the University of Colorado-School of Dentistry. In 2005, she graduated Cum Laude with a doctorate in dental surgery.
After earning her dental degree, Arica returned home and began practicing family and cosmetic dentistry. She is co-owner of Wells and Abrames Family Dentistry in Fort Collins. She loves her profession and is grateful to Colorado State University for the educational foundation that it provided.
Arica lives in Fort Collins with her husband of 13 years and their two children Paige and Jack.
Q: I was a member of the football team for two years but never lettered. Am I eligible to be a member of RAAA?
A: Yes. Our bylaws state that the RAAA shall be open to any individual who participated in varsity intercollegiate athletics while a student at Colorado State University and who has no intercollegiate athletic eligibility remaining.
Q: What is so special about being a member of RAAA? Do I get anything?
A: Like most non-profit organizations many of the benefits are intrinsic. Being a dues paying member is an inexpensive and easy way to help make a difference in the lives of the current student-athletes (see the list of projects). You are a part of a small and select group of individuals who have participated at a high level of intercollegiate athletics. The fraternal feeling that goes with being part of a team is carried on by involvement in RAAA. You do receive a gift each year you renew your membership plus during home football games you have access to our lounge at Hughes Stadium. We are exploring other tangible benefits which we will post as they become available.
Q: I see the RAAA name associated with CSU's athletic department's special events. How does this partnership work?
A: To insure proper "institutional control" as required by the NCAA, the policies, procedures, and activities of the RAAA are subject to approval by the Director of Athletics or his/her designated representative. This policy, in effect, makes the RAAA a partner with the Department of Athletics in any event which we sponsor or otherwise help with funding, such as the Hall of Fame banquet and the student-athlete Career Fair. We share, with the athletic department, the goal of strengthening CSU athletics.
Q: How do I get in contact with "Jane Doe"? We were teammates and I want to see what she is doing.
A: Go to the directory link on our website to find the most up-to-date information we have on members who pay their dues. This is one of the benefits of maintaining a membership in the RAAA. You can find your friends and teammates and they can find you.
Q: Can the RAAA help me get tickets to CSU athletic events?
A: No. We are not in the ticket business. All ticket requests go through the CSU ticket office (970-491-7267). For those wanting to get more information regarding priority seating for season tickets, contact the Ram Club at 970-491-4666 or visit www.CSURAMS.com.
Q: Our 2000 Liberty Bowl championship team would like to have a reunion. What should we do?
A: Contact the CSU Athletic Department at 970-491-5067. They coordinate all Legends reunion events.
Q: Are my membership dues tax deductible?
A: Yes. The dues are funneled through the CSU Foundation and earmarked for RAAA use. The dues are 100% tax deductible.
Q: What if I join RAAA in the middle of the membership year? Does my membership extend for a full 12 months?
A: Memberships extend from January 1 to December 31, the calender year of when your dues are paid. It behooves you to join or renew your membership early to take advantage of a full year of membership benefits.
The Ram Alumni Athletes Association, in partnership with the CSU athletic department, co-sponsors the following projects:
- Hall of Fame: Select alumni-athletes to be inducted into CSU's Sports Hall of Fame. Host the Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremonies. This is the Association's signature event.
- Career Night: Host an annual career night for current student-athletes. The goals of career night are: (1) provide a forum for alumni athletes to discuss with student-athletes the do's and don'ts of preparing for and transitioning to professional life outside of athletics and CSU, and (2) provide an opportunity for student-athletes to mingle and meet with potential future employers.
- Graduating Seniors Luncheon: Host an annual luncheon for all graduating student-athletes and their families. The goal is to honor those who took the opportunity available to them to participate in intercollegiate athletics and also to earn a degree from CSU.
- Scholar Athlete Luncheon: Host an annual luncheon to honor all student-athletes who carry a 3.0 or better GPA. Families are also invited.
- Alumni Athletes Association Lounge: Upgrade and maintain the RAAA lounge at Hughes Stadium. The lounge is open to all Association members during pregame and halftime at CSU home football games.
- Etiquette Dinner: Sponsor a series of seats for student-athletes at the annual University-wide etiquette dinner. The goal of this project is to teach students the importance of and procedures for proper etiquette and dress when invited to an interview and/or a meal by a prospective employer.
- "Ram Legend" reunion events: Invite alumni-athletes to be a part of and participate in the events surrounding reunions of athletic department sports. Help sponsor such events.
Ram Alumni Athletes Association:
101 McGraw Athletic Center
Fort Collins, CO 80525
Secretary and Past President
*Feel free to contact the above RAAA Board members regarding any aspect of the Association's activities. We are volunteers so we will respond to your inquiry as soon as we can.