Jeff Geiser retires after 22 years in ASC Athletics


Jeff Geiser

Jeff Geiser

Dr. Jeff Geiser is hanging up his whistle. He will retire this spring after 22 years at Adams State College, leaving a legacy of accomplishment in each of his overlapping roles: athletic director, associate professor and head of the EPLS Department (Exercise Physiology and Leisure Science,) and head football coach.

"I just want people to know how much I love this institution. It is not about what Jeff Geiser has done for Adams State. Conversely, it is what this wonderful college has done for Jeff Geiser," he said. "Back in 1984, ASC gave a 'wet-behind-the-ears' high school football coach a chance, and enabled me to provide sustenance for my family for over two decades. I will forever be indebted. And, while it is nice to be recognized for improvements in facilities and programs, what is most important are the relationships that have resulted with my players, students, colleagues, and friends."

Jeff Geiser coaching

Jeff Geiser coaching

Dynamic Athletic Director

During Geiser's tenure as A.D., Adams State Athletics added women's soccer in 2001 and women's golf in 2004. In addition, ASC's Wall of Champions was created to publicly recognize the college's outstanding athletic tradition. Geiser worked with the Alumni Office and others to reestablish the college's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000.

A major responsibility has been fundraising for the Athletics Department.

"In 1992, we were raising approximately $23,000 annually in donor contributions through the Athletic Booster Club. In 1993, we initiated the corporate partner program. Since that time, combined with the Grizzly Club membership, we have generated $1,858,756. This year alone we raised $250,000," Geiser said.

In collaboration with the San Luis Valley Cattlemen's Association, Geiser helped create the Beef Bowl Football game, now it its fifth year. Profits from this event fund two scholarships for athletes from the San Luis Valley.

Most recently, the Grizzly Club collaborated with the Alumni Association to create the Grizzly Courtyard Project, which will result in two scholarship endowments.

Geiser oversaw a number of extensive improvements to Adams State's athletic facilities, including: - creation of the Murphy Field Soccer Complex - resurfacing of the outdoor and indoor tracks - a state-of-the-art hammer/discus cage at the track - new strength-training equipment in the weight-room - new bleachers in Plachy Hall Gymnasium - VIP seating in Rex Stadium - carpet in all locker rooms and coaches' offices - new lockers in the women's locker room.

A recent success was approval by the JBC of the first phase of a program plan to update Plachy Hall. Geiser worked on the plan with Todd Wright, Director of Facilities, outlining over $10 million dollars in much needed building improvements.

Jeff Geiser performs with his band, Bits and Pieces, during the college's luau celebration.

Academic Advances

Under Geiser's oversight, the EPLS Department has developed new programs to enhance students' education. One of those is the Human Performance Laboratory.

"This gives our EPLS undergraduate majors and HPE graduate students exposure to metabolic testing, providing a scientific component in their curriculum," Geiser explained.

Another innovation was the 14-month, fast-track master's degree program, which permits working professionals to earn a master's in HPE (Health and Physical Education,) while spending minimal time on campus. Geiser credits the program with a significant increase in HPE enrollment.

Geiser also worked with students to create the EPLS Majors Club, which funds a club scholarship and works to send students to the state (CAPHERD) and national (AAPHERD) conventions.

Coaching Acclaim Geiser was himself inducted into the ASC Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004 for his record as the college's winningest football coach, with 68 victories between 1984 and 1996. He coached ASC to the NAIA National Championship game in 1988. In 1989, they reached the national semifinals, as Geiser was named the NAIA National Coach of the Year. He also earned the 1989 Toyota Coach of the Year Award for College Division Football.

He began his coaching career at John Mall High School in Walsenburg. In just three years, he led the school to a Santa Fe League Championship and a trip to the Class 3A Semi-Finals in 1978. He also was named the league's Coach of the Year for that season.

He then moved to Grand Junction High School and led the Tigers to two Southwestern League Championships and two trips to the state playoffs, including a 5A State Semifinal appearance. While there, Geiser earned SWL Coach of the Year honors in 1979 and 1980. Geiser was then off to the college ranks, starting at the top of the prestigious ASC program.

Robust Career

Geiser first served as Athletic Director in 1986-87. He assumed the Associate A.D. role in 1992, then was reappointed A.D. in 2000. With a focus on improved fund raising, Geiser became ASC's first full-time Athletic Director. His A.D. duties also included oversight of NCAA compliance, budget, personnel, game management, and facility management.

Geiser has taught in the EPLS Department since joining Adams State in 1984, and was named department chair in 1998. He also served on the NCAA Division II Football Committee at both the National and Southwest Regional level.

Geiser earned his Ph.D. in Sports Administration in 1995 from the University of New Mexico. He also holds a master's degree in Secondary Education/Administration, earned from Western State college in 1982, and a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado in Physical Education, earned in 1976.

While at CU, Geiser was a standout football player. He was an Honorable Mention All-Big Eight selection in 1974. His record for most tackles in a single game -- 30, set in 1973 - still stands. Geiser is a member of the Alamosa Elk's Lodge #1257 and serves as the Director of the Elks Hoop Shoot. In his free time, Geiser enjoys several outdoor activities, including white-water rafting, hiking, fishing, hunting and snowmobiling. He also plays bass guitar in the local classic rock band, "Bits and Pieces." Geiser and his wife, Nancy, have two children; Brody, 20, now serving in the U.S. Navy; and Caitlin, 15, a freshman at Alamosa High School.

By Julie Waechter