The UCF Knights have found their new leader in athletic director Terry Mohajir.
The former Arkansas State athletic director is replacing Danny White, who made the move to Tennessee last month.
“I’m excited for the opportunity to build on the tremendous momentum UCF’s talented student-athletes, coaches and staff have established with the enthusiastic support of Knight Nation and so many generous donors,” Mohajir said in a statement.
Mohajir’s first task as a Knight is to finish the search for a new head football coach after Josh Heupel followed White to Knoxville.
In addition to finding Heupel’s replacement, the former Arkansas State safety said he will continue to construct the “best athletics program in the country” at UCF.
“I’m ready to charge on with Knight Nation,” Mohajir said.
Here are 10 things to know about UCF’s latest hire, Terry Mohajir. But first, follow him on Twitter: @TerryMohajirAD.
Terry Mohajir’s past job history
Here’s a look at Mohajir’s history in college athletics:
- 1993-1996: Assistant offensive line/game day special teams coach (Kansas)
- 1997-2004: Assistant athletic director for external relations (University of Missouri - Kansas City)
- 2004-2011: Senior associate director of athletics for external relations (FAU)
- 2011-2012: Senior associate director of athletics/chief marketing officer (Kansas)
- 2012-2021: Athletic director/vice chancellor for intercollegiate athletics (Arkansas State)
Terry Mohajir knows how to hire a good head coach
Not only does Mohajir have an excellent track record of hiring head football coaches — Bryan Harsin (Auburn), Blake Anderson (Utah State) and Butch Jones (Tennessee) — but he also hired head coaches in other sports at Arkansas State:
- Men’s golf: Mike Hagen
- Women’s soccer: Brian Dooley
- Women’s basketball: Matt Daniel
- Volleyball: Santiago Restrepo
- Men’s basketball: Mike Balado
- Men’s basketball: Grant McCasland
“Eight different coaches at A-State since Mohajir’s arrival have been named either a Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year or national Coach of the Year a combined 20 times,” according to Arkansas State.
How to pronounce Terry Mohajir’s name
According to Mohajir’s Arkansas State bio, his last name is pronounced: MO-HODGE-ER.
Meet Terry Mohajir’s family
According to his Arkansas State bio, Mohajir and his wife Julie have three children: Maria, 19; Molly, 17; and Marco, 12.
He even dressed up for Maria’s high school graduation to give her her diploma (awwwww!!). According to Maria’s Instagram account, she is currently attending Temple University.
#nationaldaughtersday pic.twitter.com/AHk8rDW6xs— Terry Mohajir (@TerryMohajirAD) September 26, 2020
Happy Mother’s Day to an Amazing Women! pic.twitter.com/15dLzZue0a— Terry Mohajir (@TerryMohajirAD) May 10, 2020
Terry Mohajir knows a TikTok dance or two
Mohajir has made a few appearances on his daughter and wife’s TikTok accounts, whether it be participating in the latest dance trend or singing a Nelly song.
I’m sold on the hire pic.twitter.com/2R7oRA5FiD— Landon ⚔️ (@landonb94) February 8, 2021
This is reportedly UCF’s new Athletic Director— jeremy taché (@jeremytache) February 8, 2021
I already love him with all my heart pic.twitter.com/jGMuZJym98
LIKE WHAT pic.twitter.com/ezhSIxHDLH— jeremy taché (@jeremytache) February 8, 2021
Terry Mohajir is known for engaging with fans
This video speaks for itself.
Arkansas State’s athletics department budget increased 181% under Terry Mohajir
Arkansas State’s athletics department budget skyrocketed from Mohajir’s first year in 2012 from $15.3 million to $43.1 million in 2016, a school record, according to the university.
As Mohajir continued to expand Arkansas State’s brand, in 2016 the university signed a 10-year agreement with Learfield Sports, a multimedia industry leader, and a seven-year partnership with Adidas.
Academic performance and graduation rates have been highest under Terry Mohajir
Under Mohajir, Arkansas State has seen all-time high academic performances from its student-athletes. According to the university, the 2019-20 academic year’s all-department GPA rose to 3.211, the best in the Sun Belt Conference.
Under Mohajir, Arkansas State has also increased its graduation success rate.
According to the university, “Data announced in 2018 saw A-State produce a school-record 85 percent GSR, topping its previous high of 83 set just one year prior and in 2019. The Red Wolves continue to increase their Academic Progress Rate (APR) as well with the most recent data (2020) reflecting a school-record 985 score.”
Terry Mohajir has a seat on the College Football Playoff selection committee
Mohajir was selected in 2019 to serve on the College Football Playoff selection committee. According to Arkansas State, Mohajir is one of 13 athletic directors and 29 total people to serve on the CFP committee.
Terry Mohajir’s salary at Arkansas State
Mohajir’s current contract with Arkansas State runs through June 2023, according to the Associated Press. His previous contract was set to expire in June 2020.
The Jonesboro Sun reported Mohajir’s salary at Arkansas State was $450,000 per year with an increase of $145,000 annually.
Danny White earned about $1.1 million a year at UCF.
Honorable mention: Terry Mohajir is not afraid to engage with doubters on Twitter. Beware UCF fans with Twitter fingers
Hello Coach @oriolecrazy, understand the frustration, but since ‘12 we have achieved unprecedented academic & athletics success & facility growth. Happy to discuss the challenges this year with you. Feel free to come see me. I always welcome conversations with anyone, anytime. pic.twitter.com/vjWiu8nExm— Terry Mohajir (@TerryMohajirAD) November 30, 2020
Daniella Medina is a contributing writer for Black & Gold Banneret. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.