UCLA Athletics Director Dan Guerrero has been named the 2017 recipient of the NFF John L. Toner Award. Presented annually by the NFF, the Toner Award recognizes an athletics director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell made the announcement June 14, 2017, during the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Annual Convention in Orlando, Fla., and Guerrero will be honored Dec. 5 during the 60th NFF Annual Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City. Guerrero becomes the first-ever-sitting athletics director from the west coast to claim the honor in the award’s 20-year history.
“Since taking over as UCLA’s Athletics Director in 2002, Dan has overseen a very successful Bruins athletics program,” said Hatchell. “His leadership has helped create one of the most successful periods in school history, including great success by the football team. His accomplishments place him at the forefront of his profession and make him truly worthy of this prestigious honor.”
Fifteen years and 27 NCAA Championships later, Dan Guerrero’s mantra of ‘image and substance’ clearly place him in the elite ranks of the nation’s top athletics administrators. Under his watch, UCLA Athletics became the first to 100 NCAA team championships, and the Bruins' current total of 113 titles ties them for first in the nation. Adding to the 27 NCAA championships since his appointment, the Bruins have also finished second 27 times with another 63 Top Five finishes.
Since 2002, more than 80% of UCLA teams have qualified for NCAA post-season competition, led by football, which has appeared in 12 bowl games while recording three 10-win seasons. Guerrero hired current head football coach Jim Mora, who has led the Bruins to a 41-24 record and four bowl appearances during the past five seasons, including wins in the Alamo Bowl and Sun Bowl. Under his tenure, the Bruins also saw the selection of Jake Brendel as an NFF National Scholar-Athlete in 2015.
The men’s basketball advanced to consecutive Final Fours from 2006-08, including six trips to the Sweet 16 in Guerrero’s 15 years. The school has also won 65 conference championships in 15 different sports, produced over 650 All-Americans and featured eight Honda Award winners, including the 2003-04 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. In his 15 years at UCLA, the Bruins have finished second four times and third four times in the race for the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup. For 2016-17, UCLA remains on track to earn a 13th overall Top 10 finish under Guerrero.
Guerrero was the first athletic director at the NCAA Division I level (FBS, FCS and NCAA Division I-AAA) to earn three NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year awards (2013-14 and 2006-07 at UCLA, 2001-02 at UC Irvine), and he was also selected as a finalist for the Athletic Director of the Year at the 2017 Sports Business Awards.
UCLA has also notched impressive academic accomplishments under Guerrero, and Bruin student-athletes have earned nearly 10,000 spots on the Director’s Honor Roll, including a record 341 during the 2016 fall quarter. UCLA’s Graduation Success Rate (GSR) and Academic Progress Rates (APR) continued to remain high nation-wide. The UCLA student-athlete GSR is currently at 86%, and every Bruin team maintained multi-year APR rates of 950 or above, including six who achieved perfect scores of 1000.
Nationally, Guerrero has extensive experience in committee work at both the NCAA and conference level. Currently, he serves on the NCAA Division I Council, the NCAA Council Coordination Committee, and he is Chair of the Division I Men’s Basketball Oversight Committee. He also is a member of the Board of Directors of the NABC, National Consortium for Academic and Sports, and the United States International Sports Federation.
As the Chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee in 2009-10, he was involved with the negotiation of the new $10.8 billion, 14-year NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament television package, as well as the decision to expand the Tournament to 68 teams. He is also a charter member of the newly formed College Football Playoff Athletic Directors Advisory Group.
Resource development has also been a core tenet for Guerrero, and he has secured major long-term apparel and rights-holder contracts with Under Armour and WME-IMG, which at the time of their signing were the largest collegiate deals nationally in their respective areas. Guerrero also led the negotiations that solidified the relationship between UCLA and the Rose Bowl, resulting in more than $180 million in renovations, including the Terry Donahue Pavilion named in honor of the College Football Hall of Fame coach.
Under Guerrero’s guidance, UCLA continues to make major facility improvements. In August 2015, UCLA broke ground on the Wasserman Football Center and the Mo Ostin Basketball Center, which will give the football and basketball programs state-of-the-art practice facilities by the end of 2017, and a $5 million gift has set in motion a new home for the soccer program at North Athletic Field for the Wallis Annenberg Stadium.
Additionally, the renovation of Pauley Pavilion was completed in October 2012, on time and under budget. In all, more than $300 million in improvements to UCLA Athletic facilities have taken place since Guerrero took over as athletic director while another $100 million in football and basketball facility construction alone is scheduled leading up to UCLA’s centennial anniversary.
Guerrero came to UCLA from UC Irvine, where he had served as UCI’s fifth permanent Director of Athletics for 10 years (1992-2002), helping to elevate that program to unprecedented success. Prior to arriving at UCI, Guerrero worked at Cal State Dominguez Hills, where he led that program to national prominence while serving as Athletic Director for five years (1988-92).
A proud alumnus of UCLA, Guerrero received his Bachelor’s degree from the University in 1974 and played second base for the Bruins for four years. Known as “Warrior” during his playing career, he was inducted into the UCLA Baseball Hall of Fame in 1996.
The Bruin Athletic Director earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration in 1982 from Cal State Dominguez Hills, and he was named to the Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society for Public Affairs and Public Policy that same year. Guerrero was raised in Wilmington, CA. He is married to the former Anne Marie Aniello, and they have two grown daughters.