Gary Pine is the fourth director of athletics in Azusa Pacific's 57-year history of college sports. He enters his second year presiding over Cougar Athletics after uniquely taking over at a position in which he was the only person ever to serve at the right hand of his three predecessors - Cliff Hamlow, Terry Franson and Bill Odell - all members of the NAIA Hall of Fame.
During his first year as director of athletics, Pine guided Azusa Pacific through its first year of NCAA Division II candidacy in a three-year membership process, doing so while also leading Cougar Athletics to its unprecedented eighth consecutive Directors' Cup trophy.
Pine has been heavily involved in Azusa Pacific's transition into a new affiliation and a new conference home for the athletics program. Other than football, which will compete as an associate member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Azusa Pacific begins competing in 2012 as a member of the Pacific West Conference, which is the NCAA's largest conference (14 schools) in the west region. He currently serves as the chairman of the PacWest Basketball Tournament Committee and is the conference's athletics director liaison for track & field.
In his inaugural year at the helm, Pine secured a pair of full-time head coaching positions for the sports of women's water polo and women's swimming & diving, and he established the first-ever director of track & field by re-organizing the structure of the program.
Along with the most aggressive drug testing in program history, Pine also initiated the most comprehensive survey of Cougar student-athletes during the 2011-12. He also spearheaded and wrote the university's first-ever institutional self-study, a 319-page document reviewing the state of the Cougar athletics program.
In terms of capital structure, Pine oversaw facility improvements with the addition of stadium lights for the Cougar Soccer Complex, and theatre-style curtains in the Felix Event Center to give volleyball a more intimate and exciting atmosphere.
In his 32 years in intercollegiate athletics, Pine has worked at Azusa Pacific for 28, first as a student sports information director, then as the university's first full-time SID, followed by assignments as assistant and associate director of athletics over the past decade.
Pine spent three years as an assistant sports information director at the University of Southern California, serving as the university's primary contact for men's basketball, track & field and golf. In 1992 he was named director of communications for the Big West Conference where he spent a year before returning to Azusa Pacific in the summer of 1993.
Pine is a 1984 graduate of Azusa Pacific and also has an MBA from his alma mater. Along with national and association honors for his work in sports information, Pine has served as the media, tournament and/or meet director for several NAIA and GSAC championship events.
Pine has deep roots with Azusa Pacific. His parents, Laurence and Alice, are 1946 alums of the institution, and in addition to his brother Loren ('69), he has more than 20 family relatives who have graduated from Azusa Pacific.
Gary, 50, and his wife Sheri, an Azusa Pacific alum, reside in La Verne, Calif., with their three sons, Kyle (20) a junior at Azusa Pacific, Jared (18), a freshman at Azusa Pacific, and Trevor (15).