From the Vice President for Student AffairsPosted: Friday, April 2, 2021
Thomas Koller Announces Retirement
Thomas Koller, officer in charge of intercollegiate athletics and senior associate athletics director, has announced his retirement effective June 26, 2021. In light of this transition, the search for a permanent director of intercollegiate athletics has been reopened. (The search was paused in March 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.)
Mr. Koller's contributions to the campus have been numerous, and I am grateful for his service to the division and his leadership at the college.
Mr. Koller has been a vital part of the Bengals’ athletics department since 2001, when he was first hired as assistant athletics director for external affairs and was later promoted to senior associate athletics director in 2010. He has been serving as officer in charge of athletics since July 2020, helping pave the way for a return to competition for the spring sports while navigating safety protocols within the COVID-19 pandemic.
At Buffalo State College, his duties have included the supervision of five offices as well as several athletics programs. He has served as the department’s chief development officer, which includes liaison to the college's Institutional Advancement Office, as well as oversight of team fundraising, the Bengal Club, major gift solicitation, and the annual Bengal Club Golf Classic. Also responsible for corporate relations, Mr. Koller has developed and implemented partnerships with local, regional, and national companies to raise more than $1.6 million since his arrival. He was also responsible for marketing and promotions and has oversight of camps and clinics.
Mr. Koller also has served as chair of the Buffalo State Athletics Hall of Fame and for many years was the chair of Buffalo State's Homecoming and Family Weekend. In addition, he has served as the master of ceremonies for the college’s annual Scholarship Gala and has been the lead speaker at First-Year Convocation. He has also served as campaign coordinator for the college’s SEFA/United Way campaign, and he is past president of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame. He received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2015.
Mr. Koller is an adjunct instructor in the Communication Department, specializing in media writing, sports journalism, and oral communication/public speaking. A graduate of Buffalo State (journalism, 1980) with a master’s degree from UB (administration of higher education, 1999), he began his professional career as a sportswriter at the Rome Daily Sentinel before spending 12 years at the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls, where his primary beats included the Buffalo Bills and Niagara University athletics. Before coming to Buffalo State, Mr. Koller enjoyed 11 years at the University at Buffalo, first as the director of sports information and later as assistant athletics director for marketing and corporate relations.
We will identify a way to mark his contributions and share details in the future, but for now, please join me in thanking Mr. Koller for his incredible work and commitment to Buffalo State College and wishing him all the best in his retirement.