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Former Oregon State assistant takes over NM Highlands athletics

LAS VEGAS, N.M.- New Mexico Highlands University and President Sam Minner named Bob Clifford as the school’s new athletic director on Wednesday. Clifford comes to Highlands after spending 13 years at Oregon State

Clifford said “This is a wonderful unique privilege and opportunity to be here to represent New Mexico Highlands University as its new Athletic Director. In particular a thank you to President Sam Minner. We both share the same vision to represent the mission of New Mexico Highlands and we are going to build a fundamental foundation of culture for standards, ethics, values and winning.”

While at Oregon State Clifford served as Associate Athletic Director and Director of Student Affairs for the athletic department. Clifford was the supervisor for football, softball, women’s soccer, swimming, wrestling, women’s golf, women’s track and field, cross country, and the sports performance department. Under his supervision his teams saw 13 postseason appearances, six PAC-12 team championships and one individual National Champion. Clifford was also in charge of fundraising during his tenure at Oregon State. He spearheaded a committee that raised $172 million from boosters and helped secure a Nike tier one status, which only 20 schools in the NCAA have.

Before Oregon State, Clifford spent a year at Florida Atlantic. During his time at Florida Atlantic University, he was an integral part of transitioning the football team to NCAA Division I-A (FBS) and procuring funds to build two new practice fields.

Clifford started his athletic career at the University of Michigan. While at Michigan Clifford held many different positions including Coordinator of Academic Programs, Academic Advisor, and Sports Administrator. Clifford worked with coaches such as Glenn (Bo) Schembechler, Gary Moller, Lloyd Carr and future coaches such as Les Miles, Brady Hoke, Cam Cameron, and Jim Harbaugh. During his time at Michigan he was a part of 11 Big 10 Football championships, 1997 football National Championship, and the 1992 and 1993 men’s basketball National Finalist teams. Overall Clifford was a part of 68 Olympic sport championships, 65 individual National Championships, 11 Rose Bowl appearances, 44 Academic All-Americans, and 38 football All-Americans.

“After a national search attracting many high caliber applicants, we selected Bob Clifford as our new Athletic Director. Bob has deep experience in athletic management and leadership and he along with other athletic administrators and coaches, will improve our outcomes including enhanced graduation rates among athletes, significantly improved fundraising outcomes, and more RMAC victories. HU Athletics has helped shape hundreds of students into successful women and men of high character. Bob will build upon that great tradition. I have high confidence in Bob and look forward to working with him into the future. He was our top pick.” President Sam Minner said about Clifford.

“Mary and I [Bob] are absolutely looking forward to living in the community and developing a relationship that positively reflects the positive aspects and the ability of this great historical setting.”

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