Just three months into his tenure as athletic director at Long Beach State, Andy Fee is anxious to see how his new hires will work out. The director has made major changes to the athletics program by hiring women’s basketball head coach Jeff Cammon, women’s volleyball head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer and men’s golf head coach Michael Wilson.
Before being hired at Long Beach State, Fee spent the last seven years at UC Santa Barbara as the Deputy Athletics Director. In his role at Santa Barbara, Fee managed a large staff responsible for everything from fundraising to investments in the program.
This year, Fee’s involvement has already helped raise more awareness about Long Beach athletics and is engaging the community. Just three home games into the 2017 season, the women’s soccer team has already sold a record of nearly 50 season tickets to LBSU fans.
Fee has focused on bringing the athletics program out of debt and is committed to working with President Jane Close Conoley. He believes the program is headed in the right direction by being more efficient with their resources.
“I honestly don’t feel that there is a lot of fat to cut out of the budget,” Fee said. “Again, we can always be as efficient as possible. [But] we don’t live an extravagant lifestyle, we are not staying in fancy hotels.”
A bit problem for the program, Fee explained, was the lack of a football team. Many sports programs at universities receive a majority of income from football teams, and CSULB doesn’t have an easy way to replace that missing revenue.
Since LBSU does not have a football team, the department is known as a mid major, which is a big disadvantage for the program. But Fee believes that the department is getting back on track.
Fee has set two goals in every meeting with his staff since he joined in June. One is that the program is staying within their budget and the other is to meet and exceed the revenue goals.
“That is the world we are going to live in moving forward,” Fee said. “It takes everybody though, we have great coaches who work very hard to stretch their dollars as much as possible.”
With LBSU winning seven out of the last nine Big West Commissioner’s Cup, Fee is looking forward to the continue sustaining the winning culture. The Long Beach State athletic department is not only winning on the field but also in the academics for its student-athletes. According to Fee, LBSU is the only Cal State to meet or exceed in the APR (Academic Progress Rate) towards graduation standards in the last 12 years.
With the sports season year starting, Fee will be reminding his colleagues of his two goals — staying within the athletics budget and meeting (or exceeding) revenue goals for the future.