Grand Canyon University and Jerry Colangelo Announce Formation of Sports Business School

October 26, 2011


Contact:               Marcia Scott                                     Bill Jenkins
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The Colangelo School of Sports Business will be a leading provider of sports business education

PHOENIX (Oct. 25, 2011) - Grand Canyon University (GCU) is partnering with entrepreneur and sports icon Jerry Colangelo to groom the next generation of sports business leaders.

 GCU and Colangelo announced today in a joint news conference that the Colangelo School of Sports Business will promote real-world experiential learning and student development in an effort to train an exceptional workforce that contributes knowledge, creativity, and inspirational leadership.

 "After 40 years in the sports business, I am anxious to give back and ensure that others have the opportunity to enter the industry and make a positive impact," said Colangelo, who resigned from the board of Grand Canyon Education Inc. in July in order to focus on his new role. "I am excited to partner with Grand Canyon University on a program that will emphasize entrepreneurism and ethics."

Colangelo's impact on Arizona sports and the game of basketball has been so significant he was elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2004. The Arizona Republic named him the Most Influential Sports Figure in the state of Arizona for the 20th century, the Phoenix Business Journal has regularly placed him among its Most Influential Business Persons in the Valley, and Sporting News named him one of the most powerful people in sports. 

Colangelo will have hands-on involvement with the program, leading the Colangelo Guest Lecture Series, a regular lecture series for students that will bring top leaders from professional sports, college athletic departments, and leading sports companies to campus and online starting next spring. He will donate a significant collection of sports memorabilia to GCU, where it will be displayed in the University's brand new 5,000-seat Arena. In addition, each year, an outstanding second-year student will be selected to be mentored by Colangelo.

GCU first created a sports business major in mid-2010 and it is the only one of its kind in Arizona. In just over a year, the program has grown to serve 325 students both on its traditional Phoenix campus and online. The Colangelo School of Sports Business will be directed by Dr. Brian C. Smith and is expected to grow to 1,000 students in five years.

"We are thrilled to partner with Jerry to build upon our existing program with a renewed commitment to achievement, ethics and practical experience," said GCU CEO Brian Mueller. "This is a program where students will be able to develop their passion and prepare to enter the industry with a focus on servant leadership and innovation."

Grand Canyon University was founded in 1949 and is Arizona's premier private Christian university. GCU is regionally accredited and emphasizes individual attention for both traditional undergraduate students and the working professional in six colleges: the Ken Blanchard College of Business, the College of Education, the College of Nursing, the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Fine Arts and Production, and the College of Doctoral Studies. GCU offers traditional programs on its growing campus, as well as online bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs.  The University's curriculum fuses academic and clinical rigor with Christian values to prepare its students to be skilled, caring professionals. For more information about GCU, visit