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17 April 2007
Shultz Takes Job at Jax State

By Ken Rogers
The Troy Messenger

Reprinted here in its entirety.

Roger Shultz, Troy University's associate athletics director/external affairs, is leaving after nearly six years in the Trojan athletics department.

Shultz, a former University of Alabama football player who has worked in corporate sales during Troy's growth since his arrival, will be a senior associate athletics director at Jacksonville State University.

“They're putting in a bunch of sky boxes and a stadium club, and I'm going to help get that going,” said Shultz, who will leave Troy at the end of the month.

He knows the challenge that's in front of him. He's done it for Troy.

“It's an opportunity to redo what I've done here,” he said. “If they repeat up there what's been done here, they'll have something to be proud of.”

Shultz said the opportunity to work with Jacksonville State athletics director Jim Fuller, who was his coach when he played at Alabama, coupled with this next step in career was too good to turn down.

“I want to become an athletics director someday,” Shultz said. “This is the next step toward that goal. I'm looking forward to working with Coach Fuller.”

Despite the coming stadium expansion, Shultz isn't sure if Jacksonville State will follow Troy into the Division I-A ranks in football. The Gamecocks play in the I-AA Ohio Valley Conference.

“That's what I asked - and I haven't got a straight answer yet,” he laughed. “But whether they want to go I-A or be one of the best I-AA programs in the country every year, I've been through what they're about to do.”

His boss said he will be missed at Troy.

“I've known him since his playing days at Alabama,” Troy athletic director Steve Dennis said. “He's a very hard-working, dedicated individual. I'm happy for his opportunity to move up to a senior level of athletic administration. Their gain is our loss.”

Shultz said it isn't easy to leave.

“Troy is a great place,” he said. “It's certainly been a great place for me. I'm lucky (former AD) Johnny Williams believed in me enough to give me a job. And when Johnny left Steve came in. We've had a good team and we continue to grow.”

In fact, his observation of why Troy has come so far so fast is its stability at the top.

“That's the most important thing - consistency of people in leadership positions,” Shultz said. “We see that all the time in athletics. If you're changing things all the time, it's hard to get everybody on the same page. It starts at the top. Dr. Hawkins has been here. Dr. Patterson has been here. Larry Blakeney's been here, Don Maestri's been here. Troy is very lucky to have those people and to have had them for a long time.”

“Roger has been in Troy and this community for a number of years,” Dennis said. “And he can walk away and know he's had a positive impact and made this a better place.”

Of course, a number of people have given him odd looks when he's told them where he's going.

“It's funny. The university has kind of grown past it, but a lot of people get worked up about Jax State,” he said. “It's like I have horns. A lot of it's just in fun, though.”

His challenge of doing something he's already accomplished doesn't mean he won't learn from his mistakes. Shultz said he knows what not to miss when that stadium club goes up.

“You'd be crazy not to learn and make it better the second time around,” he said. “I know I'll have to put in trash chutes and get real good elevators.”

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