BROOKINGS, S.D. (SDSU) — South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn announced Tuesday a five-year contract extension for Justin Sell, who has served as athletic director at SDSU since 2009. The extension will run through June 21, 2024.
“The culture that Justin has established during his 10 years as athletic director has resulted in a successful transition to NCAA Division I that has not only translated to success in competition, but also student-athletic success in the classroom and in the community,” Dunn said. “This contract extension is representative of those accomplishments, but more importantly it maintains leadership stability that will allow our coaches, and current and future student-athletes greater opportunities for athletic and academic success. It is also a message to our passionate fans and supporters that we are excited about the future of athletics and the potential for even greater achievements.”
During Sell’s tenure, the Jackrabbits have claimed 43 regular and postseason league championships in eight sports, earning SDSU the Summit League Commissioner’s Cup all-sports trophy five times. In the classroom, student-athletes have regularly posted a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher during the past decade, culminating in numerous Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference academic awards.
Nationally, 28 teams have made NCAA tournament appearances during Sell’s tenure with one individual national champion in wrestling. Additionally, 54 student-athletes have earned all-America honors, 38 academic all-America honors and nine NCAA postgraduate scholarships. SDSU is the only NCAA Division I member that can claim it has made the postseason seven consecutive years in men’s and women’s basketball and football.
“I am extremely appreciative of the support President Dunn has shown me and the opportunity to be part of an athletic department at such a prestigious university,” Sell said. “Our success is a reflection of the efforts of many individuals. I am fortunate to be surrounded by tremendous student-athletes, first-class coaches, passionate fans and donors and an administration whose vision creates the foundation for athletic and academic success within its overall university mission. I look forward to the future and continuing to build on our successes and reach new heights.”
In addition to success in competition and in the classroom, Sell was largely responsible for leading the construction and fundraising efforts to build the $32 million Sanford-Jackrabbit Athletic Complex and the $65 million Dana J. Dykhouse Football Stadium, in addition to the $12.6 million men’s and women’s basketball practice facility. Sell and the SDSU Foundation are currently involved in fundraising efforts to renovate Frost Arena.
Sell was appointed by the NCAA board of directors to represent The Summit League and Missouri Valley Football Conference on the Division I Council. He currently chairs the Student-Athlete Experience Committee and is the liaison to the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Previously Sell was the chair of the Division I Transfer Working Group and is an active supporter of student-athlete health and welfare initiatives at a national level. Locally, Sell has served on various board of directors, including the Brookings Health System, Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau.