Jim Abbott is a veteran athletic administrator with more than 30 years of experience in sports and higher education administration. Since 2002, Abbott has served as Athletic Director at Oklahoma City University, guiding the department to unprecedented levels of success.
Abbott is the founder of the Business of Small College Athletics, an annual workshop that provides professional development sessions geared toward NCAA D2, D3, NAIA, and NJCAA athletic administrators. 2018 marks the 7th year of the workshop which has attracted attendees from around the country.
In addition to the workshop, Abbott has provided consulting expertise in the areas of marketing, strategic planning, career development, and revenue generation for a number of years. He will expand his efforts to include departmental reviews, searches, leadership training, feasibility studies, and athletic enrollment/ retention assessments among other areas at ASC.
Abbott, who holds the title of Assistant Vice President of Athletics at OCU, has left his mark in his over 15 years as leader of the athletic programs. The focus of Abbott’s tenure has been on providing a championship experience for student-athletes athletically, academically and socially and establishing a culture of excellence.
Abbott serves as the chief development officer for OCU Athletics. Under his guidance, OCU has completed more that $17 million in athletic facility construction and renovation projects including the Ann Lacy Softball Stadium, the Devon Boathouse, the Knight Strength and Conditioning Facility and the Jim Wade Athletic Office Suite. Abbott’s tenure has also seen new facilities and renovations for OCU baseball, soccer and wrestling. Abbott spearheads efforts of the Champions Club, OCU’s athletic booster club, and the department's largest annual fundraising event, the Sports Spectacular dinner and auction.
Academically, student-athletes have thrived during Abbott’s tenure achieving an annual cumulative grade point average above a 3.0 each year. Abbott created the first chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma, a national student-athlete honor society, in the state of Oklahoma to recognize the academic achievements of OCU student-athletes.
Athletically, Oklahoma City has achieved increased success during Abbott’s tenure. OCU has won an astonishing 44 of their total 66 national championships under Abbott’s leadership. OCU enjoyed its most successful year ever in 2016-17 when the Stars won their first Learfield Sports Directors' Cup title.
Abbott is active as a member of the NACDA Executive Council, NAIA Membership Committee, Jim Thorpe Association Executive Council, chairman of the NAIA Hall of Fame selection committee, treasurer of the Greater Oklahoma City Sports Consortium, NAIA Athletic Director’s Association Board of Directors and serves as staff sponsor for the OCU Fellowship of Christian Athletes huddle. Abbott has previously served as president of the NAIA Athletic Directors Association and as a member of the NAIA National Administrative Council. Abbott has been a panelist and presenter at numerous NAIA and NACDA conventions.
Abbott has overseen the growth of the OCU athletics through the implementation of several new sports. OCU has added men’s and women’s track and cross country, volleyball, men’s and women’s rowing, men’s and women’s wrestling, competitive cheerleading, competitive dance and STUNT under Abbott’s guidance.
Abbott has twice been named the NAIA National AD of the Year (2008 and 2017). He has also been recognized as the 2010, 2015, and 2018 Under Armour Central Region Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and been named the Sooner Athletic Conference Athletic Director of the Year on five occasions, including in 2016-17.
Abbott earned a master of science degree in sports administration from the University of Oklahoma and bachelor’s degrees in business administration and physical education from Huntingdon College. Abbott and his wife, Annetta, have two children (Kyle and Katelyn).