PROVO, Utah - After serving four years as Brigham Young University's Director of Men's Athletics, Rondo Fehlberg announced today he will be leaving the university to pursue other interests.
BYU President Merrill J. Bateman announced the appointment of Val Hale, associate athletic director for external affairs, as Fehlberg's replacement.
"We are pleased that Val Hale has accepted this appointment as Director of Men's Athletics," said Bateman. "His extensive experience in leadership roles within the Athletic Department, the respect he has won within the athletic community nationally, along with his excellent marketing and communications skills, make him exceptionally well qualified for his new responsibilities."
Rondo Fehlberg (BYU Photo)
"The past four years at BYU have been a marvelous experience for me and my family," Fehlberg said. "It has been my privilege to be associated with truly wonderful faculty, administrators and student athletes who share my devotion to this great university. I am confident that Val Hale will continue BYU's strong tradition of leadership and excellence in intercollegiate athletics."
Fehlberg came to BYU in 1995 after spending 16 years as an attorney and executive in the oil business. Most recently, he was vice president of International New Ventures at Pennzoil with responsibilities for development and maintenance of long-term business relationships in the international business community, especially the former Soviet Union.
"We are grateful for the contributions that Rondo Fehlberg has made to BYU and its athletic programs during his tenure as Director of Men's Athletics," said Bateman. "His enthusiastic support of BYU sports is legendary. And we are especially appreciative of his skillful and successful negotiations on BYU's behalf in connection with bowl games, television contracts and the formation of the new Mountain West Conference. We wish him continued success in his new ventures." Under Fehlberg's guidance, BYU participated in the 1996 Cotton Bowl, the school's first-ever New Year's Day bowl game. Earlier that year, BYU hosted the Pigskin Classic, defeating Texas A&M in that nationally televised game. The men's volleyball team captured the 1999 national championship, only the fourth national championship for a BYU men's team. In the Sears Director's Cup national standings, used to gauge an athletic department's overall strength, BYU ranked 16th and 18th the past two years and will likely finish near the top 10 this year. Fehlberg was instrumental in establishing the Varsity Club, an organization for former BYU varsity athletes. In addition, he helped the University complete its initial 10-year NCAA certification review and transition to the new Mountain West Conference.
An All-American wrestler and three-time Western Athletic Conference champion at BYU, Fehlberg is a member of BYU's Athletic Hall of Fame. He had a career record of 74-11-1, including 34 pins. He also served as assistant wrestling coach while in law school.
Val Hale (BYU Photo)
Hale, 41, is a 17-year veteran of the BYU athletic department. A 1981 BYU cum laude graduate in public relations, he worked for a year as a news reporter for the Provo Daily Herald. When BYU expanded its football stadium in 1982, Hale was hired as athletic promotions and publications coordinator. In 1987, he became Assistant Director of Annual Giving, working with the Cougar Club, the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society and the President's Club before accepting the role of assistant director of BYU Development.
In 1989, Hale was appointed assistant athletic director for media and public relations. Last year, he was promoted to associate athletic director for external affairs and was given administrative responsibility for the sports of baseball, golf, tennis and swimming.
"I will sorely miss working with Rondo Fehlberg, who I consider to be a man of highest integrity and ability and who is a great friend," Hale said. "At the same time, I am humbled, yet excited, by the challenge of leading such a talented group of coaches, administrators and student athletes as we carry on the great tradition of BYU athletics.
"Over the years, I have had the privilege of observing some of the best athletic administrators in the business. Working side-by-side with men such as Dave Schulthess, Glen Tuckett, Dale McCann, Clayne Jensen, R.J. Snow and Rondo Fehlberg has prepared me for this assignment. I appreciate the confidence shown in me by President Bateman and Vice President Fred Skousen."
Hale was an all-region football player and all-state track athlete at Orem (Utah) High School. He played one year of junior varsity football at BYU in 1975 before serving an LDS mission to Santiago, Chile. In 1980, he accepted a student intern position in BYU's Sports Information Office. He received an M.A. degree in communications from BYU in 1987.
Hale has been active in church and civic responsibilities. He serves as executive director of the Utah Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc., and was a founding board member of the Utah Tipoff Club. In addition, he is president-elect of the Utah Valley chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. He currently serves on the marketing committee for NCAA Football.
He is married to the former Nancy Allred, and they have three children: Chris, 18; Brandon, 15; and Rachel, 14. Chris recently signed a letter of intent to play football at BYU.