UCLA Hires Martin Jarmond, 1st Black Athletic Director In School’s History

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Written by Ann Brown
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UCLA has hired Martin Jarmond away from Boston College. Jarmond will become UCLA’s first Black athletic director in the school’s history. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Sports will never be the same at the University of California, Los Angeles. The next athletic director at UCLA will be Martin Jarmond, 39, — the first Black person in that role in the school’s 100-year history.

Jarmond will replace Dan Guerrero, who is retiring after leading the department for 18 years. The UCLA appointment isn’t the only “first” for Jarmond. Prior to this, Jarmond was at Boston College, where he also made history as the first Back athletic director for there, ABC 7 reported. Jarmond was with Boston College for the past three years.

With his new post, Jarmond becomes the highest-paid athletic director at a Pac-12 Conference School. His six-year contract will pay him $1.2 million a year, according to the Los Angeles Times. The salary will rise to $1.7 million in the final year. 

Jarmond takes over a department where all six of his predecessors were white or Latino men. The final selection was between Jarmond and Desiree Reed-Francois of Las Vegas, who withdrew, The L.A. Times reported. 

It won’t be an easy road at UCLA. Jarmond inherits an athletic department that ran an $18.9-million deficit for the 2019 fiscal year and needed an interest-bearing loan from the university. On top of this, the UCLA Bruins — the 25 athletic teams that represent the University of California, Los Angeles — are expected to go deeper into debt in 2020 because of reduced revenue and donations related to the covid-19 pandemic.

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Despite the challenges, Jarmond’s hiring was celebrated on social media. Josiah Johnson, a former Bruins basketball player, tweeted, “This is a great moment for UCLA. Hopefully the fan base is supportive.”

Damien Woody, a former Boston College offensive lineman who won two Super Bowls with the New England Patriots tweeted, “He’s the real deal. Dude brought new energy to BC athletics.”

Jarmond is a former two-time captain of the men’s basketball team at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. He has a business degree and a master’s in sports administration from Ohio University. He was former assistant athletic director for development and regional giving at Michigan State, where he worked for six years before going to Ohio State in 2009.

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