BOISE -- He came up with the blue turf. He hired Chris Petersen. Now, Gene Bleymaier will be looking for a new job. The school issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that longtime BSU Athletic Director Gene Bleymaier is leaving his post after 30 years at the school.
The change will be effective Sept. 8, 2011, just five days after the Broncos take on Georgia in the season opener.
“I did not come to this decision lightly," Boise State president Robert Kustra said in a prepared statement. "After a careful management review and discussions about the future of the program, I determined that new leadership will be needed as we commit ourselves to the highest level of attention and enforcement of NCAA standards, and also continue to move Boise State athletics to the next level of success."
The decision comes in the wake of an NCAA investigation into what it called "lack of institutional controls" at the school as it related to recruiting.
KTVB asked a school official to further clarify the personnel action - the spokesperson said it was "presidential decision" but they would not directly characterize it as a "firing."
Despite the allegations of the past several months, Kustra highlighted Bleymaier's accomplishments at the school. During Bleymaier's tenure Boise State's football team rose from a Division 1AA to a national powerhouse in the FCS.
“Gene Bleymaier has been a driving force behind the achievements and growth of Boise State athletics for nearly 30 years," Kustra said in a release. "His dedication and guidance have been vital to the success of countless Bronco teams and student athletes. As Athletic Director, it was Gene’s inspiration that led to the signature blue turf at Bronco Stadium."
Boise State head football coach Chris Petersen said this in a statement regarding Bleymaier, "In my 10 years at Boise State Gene has been a tremendous supporter of not only our football program, but all the Bronco athletic teams and the entire University. I want to thank Gene for giving me an opportunity to become a head collegiate football coach."
Leon Rice, the men's head basketball coach had this to say about Bleymaier, "I will always be grateful for the opportunity Gene has given me to coach the Broncos. He did some amazing things here with athletics at Boise State."
An interim athletic director will be appointed, followed by a national search to fill the post on a permanent basis. Bleymaier was paid $266,115 in yearly salary according to public records obtained by the Idaho Freedom Foundation.