In his 10th year as Director of Athletics at the University of Minnesota, Joel Maturi has led a complete transformation of Golden Gopher Athletics. Since being named the first director of athletics of the Men’s and Women’s programs on July 12, 2002, Maturi has worked tirelessly with internal and external stakeholders to develop a new mission, values and vision for Gopher Athletics.
A native of Chisholm, Minnesota, Maturi’s tenure at the “U” has been marked by significant positive change in virtually every aspect of the department. The men’s and women’s departments have been successfully merged, graduation rates are at an all-time high, the 25 sport program has been maintained and continues to rank in the top 20 nationally, the budget is balanced, football has returned to campus and fund raising for facilities and scholarships continues to increase. Most notably, these successes have been achieved with a renewed emphasis on compliance by all involved.
Under Maturi’s leadership, Minnesota has claimed four national titles, winning the 2003 men’s hockey, the 2004 and 2005 women’s hockey and 2007 wrestling championships. The Golden Gophers have also won an impressive 42 Big Ten or WCHA championships during his tenure.
Maturi, 66, has played a leadership role in his profession having served on the prestigious NCAA Management Council and was the Division I Liaison with the National Student-Athlete Advisory Council. He has served as a NCAA Institutional Peer Review Member and in the past two years he has chaired the Big Ten Athletic Director’s, the ADs of the WCHA and the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Committee. This year Maturi will begin serving on the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid Cabinet. For his efforts he was one of four finalists for recognition as the National Athletics Director of the Year in 2009.
Maturi is excited about the future of Gopher Athletics. He is convinced that the graduation rate will continue to improve and is proud Minnesota has completed a decade of compliance without any major NCAA infractions. Fund raising has begun for a new baseball stadium and a basketball practice facility and there are efforts to improve the outdoor track and the practice facilities for wrestling, gymnastics and golf. The vision to become the “model” athletics program in the country is within reach.
Maturi received a B.A. in Government from the University of Notre Dame in 1967, completed credits for his Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and earned a Master’s in Educational Professional Development from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in 1985. While at Notre Dame he served on the support staff of Ara Parseghian’s first National Championship football team in 1966.
From 1967 until 1987 Maturi taught and coached at the high school level, 19 years at Madison (Wisconsin) Edgewood High School where he coached track and field, baseball, football and basketball leading his teams to 10 state tournament appearances. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1992.
He entered collegiate athletic administration at the University of Wisconsin (1987-1996) where he served initially as an sssistant sthletics director and oversaw all aspects of the facilities and events. He was promoted to an associate athletics director where he became Wisconsin’s first compliance coordinator, oversaw the sports of football, hockey, wrestling, softball, cross country, rowing, track and field as well as the Office of Academic Affairs and Athletic Medicine. He worked closely with the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) and for those efforts and his work at Wisconsin he was honored as the Wisconsin Sports Person of the year in 1993.
Maturi’s first head AD position was at the University of Denver from 1996-1998 where he led the Pioneers from Division II to Division I, conference affiliation and the planning and development of a $50 million Sports and Wellness Center. From 1998-2002 he was the director of athletics at Miami University, overseeing 19 sports and 600 student-athletes. During his tenure Miami’s teams had unparalleled success, built a new baseball stadium and a student-athlete development center, the home of academics and strength and conditioning. He was honored with a Campus Impact Award, an award from the Butler County Board, the Miami Alumni Association and a Community Service Award for his efforts on campus and in the community.
Maturi and his wife, Lois, have three grown children, Mark, Katie and Anne and two grandchildren, Ted and Molly.
The Maturi family at the TCF Bank Stadium Opener in 2009