Under Athletics Director Jay Jacobs' leadership, Auburn Athletics has made major strides benefiting Auburn student-athletes, coaches and fans. The department has focused on five strategic goals during his tenure: Winning, graduating student-athletes, managing the department's fiscal affairs, complying with SEC and NCAA rules and providing a positive gameday experience.
The Auburn Athletics Department has consistently ranked in the top 10 percent of the NACDA Directors Cup and has claimed 11 national championships under Jacobs, including a school-record four titles in 2005-06. In 2010, the football program claimed the BCS National Championship. In 2013, the football team won its third SEC championship in the past decade and advanced to the BCS National Championship Game for the second time in four years. Under Jacobs' watch, Auburn's athletics programs have captured 24 Southeastern Conference titles.
During Jacobs' tenure, Auburn has moved forward with numerous facility projects designed to benefit Tiger athletics programs and their fans. The most significant facilities project during Jacobs' tenure has been the $86 million Auburn Arena and practice facility. The 243,792 square foot facility has an approximate capacity of 9,000. It includes over 29,000 square feet of student-athlete space, a two-court practice facility, coaches' offices, the Auburn University Athletics Ticket Office, the AU Team Shop, the relocated Jonathan B. Lovelace Hall of Honor, spacious food courts and many other amenities, such as tailgate suites facing Jordan-Hare Stadium and rental space available for private functions.
The most recent major facilities upgrades were a $16 million multipurpose 100-yard indoor practice facility and a new $6 million Wellness Kitchen completed in the summer of 2014, giving Auburn one of the finest dining facilities in the country.
In 2010 a $6.5 million soccer-track facility, which features new offices and locker rooms for both programs, was completed.
Numerous improvements have also been made to Jordan-Hare Stadium under Jacobs' leadership. The Jordan-Hare Stadium Phase 1C renovation completed in 2006 included new concessions and expanded restroom facilities on the west and east concourses along with a spacious plaza on the west side of the stadium.
A new $2.9 million high definition (HD) video display scoreboard was installed in the south end zone prior to the 2007 season. The first of its kind in the Southeastern Conference, the HD display measures approximately 30 feet high by 74 feet wide.
In 2005-06, Auburn opened the new Hutsell-Rosen Track. Projects completed during the 2007-08 academic year included the City of Auburn/Auburn University Yarbrough Tennis Center, the Jack Key Golf Teaching Facility and an outdoor training pool located at the old Luther Young Tennis Complex.
Jacobs gained strong business expertise as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Tigers Unlimited prior to his appointment as Director of Athletics. He has initiated several successful business ventures for the Athletics Department.
In December 2005, Auburn signed a five-year contract with Under Armour Performance Apparel to be the official outfitter of the University's athletic teams. The five-year contract was worth more than $10.6 million in sponsorship, product and additional benefits and provides Auburn's athletic teams Under Armour uniforms, cleats, apparel and accessories. The contract was extended in 2009. The new deal with Under Armour, worth $27.45 million in cash and products over seven years, ranks as one of the most lucrative apparel contracts in intercollegiate athletics.
Auburn also extended its multi-media rights contract with ISP Sports in 2006 for an additional nine years following a previous agreement that expired in 2007. The new terms include revenue to the Auburn Athletics Department of more than $5.8 million annually, more than double the previous contract.
Jacobs was named Auburn's 14th Director of Athletics in 2004 after working in almost every area of the Auburn Athletics Department for the previous 20 years.
It was the final step for Jacobs in a career that had allowed him to gain a wide range of experience in collegiate athletics, from the perspective of a student-athlete, to the position of Senior Associate Athletics Director for Tigers Unlimited, Auburn's fund-raising arm.
Jacobs grew up just 20 miles from Auburn in LaFayette and made several trips a year to the campus to watch athletic events. Later, after moving to Jacksonville, Fla., where he attended high school, he returned to Auburn for college. After walking on the Auburn football team, he earned two letters as an offensive tackle in 1982 and 1983. As a senior, he started for the SEC Championship Tigers that finished the season ranked third nationally.
Not long after his career ended against Michigan in the 1984 Sugar Bowl, Jacobs started the journey that led him to being named Director of Athletics. After one season as a coach at Lee-Scott Academy in Auburn, Jacobs returned to his alma mater in 1985 as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach. After serving two seasons (1986-88) as a graduate assistant football coach, Jacobs was named Conditioning Coach, a position he held for three years (1988-91).
Jacobs became an Assistant Athletics Director in 1991.Three years later, he was promoted to Associate Athletics Director for Operations, overseeing a variety of support functions in the Athletics Department.
As the Senior Associate Athletics Director in charge of Tigers Unlimited from 2001-05, Jacobs oversaw fund-raising efforts that secured approximately $60 million in gifts the last three years of his tenure with Tigers Unlimited. He spearheaded a $90 million capital campaign, the largest in Auburn Athletics history.
Jacobs earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in business administration from Auburn in 1985 and 1988, respectively. He is a member of the Auburn chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honorary.
Jacobs is married to the former Angie Sapp of Dublin, Ga. The couple has three daughters, Haley, Meagan and Jayne. They are also foster parents.