Charles Guthrie was announced as the new athletic director for University of Wisconsin, Green Bay on Tuesday. (Courtesy UWGB/Twitter)

SFSU athletic director resigns after three years, headed to D-I program

Charles Guthrie began his reign as athletic director for San Francisco State University with big goals. 

He had plans to transform the Division II program into the talk of The City. Three years later, he’s moving on.

Guthrie accepted the same position at University of Wisconsin, Green Bay and will start Nov. 1 — according to an announcement from SFSU president Les Wong.

“Charles is a passionate and talented athletic director,” Wong said. “He has helped lay the foundation for the Division II program at San Francisco State University to be successful far into the future.”

Under Guthrie, the SFSU men’s basketball and women’s track and field teams experienced turnarounds. 

“I think we collectively, as a group — the faculty, staff, students — I think we brought the bite back into the Gator,” Guthrie said of his accomplishments in a phone interview on Tuesday.

There has also been considerable turnover in the department as only one coach currently employed predates Guthrie. Most recently, the university parted ways with legendary wrestling coach Lars Jensen after a relatively down year for the otherwise noteworthy program.

Guthrie began talking to Wisconsin-Green Bay during the summer and offered a step up for the ambitious AD.

“Sometimes opportunity comes from left field,” he said. 

“[UW-Green Bay is] very similar to what we’re doing at San Francisco State, they just happen to be Division I in a colder location.”

Guthrie will join on a four-year commitment to the new university.

Bill Nepfel will return to the university as the interim AD while a “national search” for Guthrie’s replacement gets under way. Nepfel is a former women’s basketball coach for the University of San Francisco and served in the same interim role for SFSU before Guthrie was hired.

Guthrie’s last official day at SFSU will be Thursday, Oct. 26. 

jpalmer@sfexaminer.com

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