Michael Gilstorf named Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development

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STEPHENVILLE – As Tarleton’s growth into an NCAA Division I program continues, Michael Gilstorf has been named the school’s first Senior Associate Athletic Director for Development.

“I am truly grateful for President Dr. James Hurley, Vice President of Institutional Advancement Dr. Gabriel Cagwin, Vice President of Athletics Lonn Reisman, and the entire search committee for this amazing opportunity,” said Gilstorf. “Tarleton State University and the athletics department is growing at a rapid rate and I’m truly honored to be a part of Texan Nation. I look forward to serving the student-athletes, donors, alumni, and the community of Stephenville.”

Gilstorf comes to Tarleton after spending the last eight years at West Virginia University, where he served as a major gifts officer and was promoted to Director of Development for the athletics department.

“We are so excited for Mike to be joining our team and are looking forward to seeing him take our athletics development to another level,” said Cagwin. “To be able to add someone of Mike’s caliber is a testament to the growth and exciting potential of what we are building here at Tarleton. I have no doubt he will be a great addition to our team.”

In his role with the Mountaineers, he contributed to receiving commitments of over $100 million in capital support for facility projects. Gilstorf was a key contributor in planning and organizing the $100 million ‘Climbing Higher’ athletics facility campaign and he secured the largest seven-figure gift in the history of the WVU gymnastics program.

In addition to major gifts, Gilstorf collaborated with the Mountaineer Athletic Club (MAC) team to assist in growing the annual fund and raising over $120 million. He also oversaw the $50 million athletics endowment program, which grew by $13 million during his eight years in Morgantown. He also assisted donors with annual fund contributions, season tickets and parking requests while also serving as the fundraising liaison to the gymnastics and rowing teams.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Michael and his family to Tarleton State University,” said Reisman. “We had a lot of excellent candidates for this crucial role at our university and Michael quickly rose to the top with outstanding experience at Division I programs. I have no doubt that he will be a valuable addition to our athletics department and the university.”

Prior to his time at West Virginia, Gilstorf spent over two years at East Carolina University as the Assistant Director of Development for the Pirate Club. During his time at ECU, he helped raise a two-year record $13 million of annual fund donations. He oversaw 15 regional chapters by managing annual fund renewals for each chapter and redesigned the ‘Young Grad’ program and watched it grow over half in his two-year tenure.

Gilstorf broke into the industry with the University of Tennessee – his alma mater – as an athletics development assistant, where he raised money for the annual fund and played a key role in facility capital campaigns. As an undergraduate student in Knoxville, he was a manager for the men’s basketball team. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tennessee in sociology and a master’s degree in sports management from West Virginia University. 

A native of Perrysburg, Ohio, Gilstorf and his partner, Jennie, are the parents of two children, Grace and Gabriel.


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