Steve Kirkham begins his 10th season as the Athletic Director at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. During his tenure, the department has achieved a grade point average of 3.0 or greater for 18 consecutive semesters which is greater than the general student body in each semester and exemplifies his belief in the true “student-athlete”. It is also a tribute to the coaches and athletes who work hard to make it a part of the UCCS athletics philosophy.
Ethics is and has been a major part of the development of the department under Kirkham. The coaches and student-athletes are expected to uphold the behavior expected by the University and its leadership in all aspects during their time at UCCS.
Under his guidance, scholarship dollars have improved from $250,000 in 2004 to $808,000 for the 2012-13 academic year. This has contributed to greater student-athlete retention and more success against NCAA Division II competition.
Every sport facility on the UCCS campus has been constructed or redeveloped during his tenure. Mountain Lion Field, the home for the women’s softball team, seats 1,200 with lights, in-ground dugouts and field turf. Mountain Lion Stadium, the home for the men’s and women’s soccer team, also has a seating capacity of 1,200 with lights, field turf and is designed for international competition with its 80-yard by 120-yard dimensions. The latest addition is the Gallogly Events Center, home for the volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball teams. The facility replaced one of the smallest gyms in collegiate athletes and features seating for 1,600 specators.
In staffing and personnel, the average full-time head coaching salaries went from $17,000 to $41,000. The staff has also grown from two full-time head coaches to eight head coaches in 2012-13.
A respected leader in collegiate athletics, Kirkham has several on numerous conference, regional and national sport committees. He was also on the selection committee for the Division II men’s and women’s national basketball championships.
Before arriving at UCCS, Kirkham had a long and exemplary coaching career. It began with his graduation from the University of Northern Colorado. He became the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at St. Francis Community High School in Kansas in 1977 where he still has the only league championship team and only state qualifying team in school history.
In 1981-82 he was the assistant coach at Fort Hays State University where he received his master’s degree. He then coached and taught at Durant High School in Oklahoma where he was an assistant coach on the 1983 3A State Championship football team. He also coached 6-on-6 women’s basketball during his two years in Durant.
In 1984 he became the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Butler County Community College in Kansas. During his four year tenure he coached them to their first 20 win season and the first nationally ranked team in school history.
The next 16 years were at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colo. Kirkham retired as the winningest coach in the history of women’s basketball in the RMAC. His teams still hold most of the school records at CMU and several conference records. He was inducted in the CMU Hall of Honor in Fall 2011 for his coaching excellence. Kirkham graduate 100% of his seniors in the 16 years at Colorado Mesa.