Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Dr. Robert N. Shelton Resigns

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Dr. Robert N. Shelton today announced his resignation as Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl, ending a tenure in which he helped re-establish public trust in an Arizona treasure and led the bowl into the College Football Playoff. A physicist by training, Shelton will return to his professional roots as President of Tucson-based Research Corporation for Science Advancement.   
“I think this is a great transition point for the Fiesta Bowl,” Shelton said. “I thank the Fiesta Bowl’s 2,900 volunteers, including the Board of Directors, for the opportunity to help restore this wonderful community institution. I have truly enjoyed serving the organization during a difficult time and feel confident we have placed the organization in a solid position for the future.”
Shelton, an Arizona native, was appointed Executive Director on June 13, 2011, leaving the presidency of the University of Arizona, where he had served since 2006. Under Shelton’s leadership, the Fiesta Bowl increased its charitable giving and led a broad community effort to win the right to host the 2016 College Football National Championship Game.
“Robert was engaged by the Board nearly three years ago to complete a transformation of the organization and to navigate through the new College Football Playoff and National Championship bids and negotiations,” Fiesta Bowl Board Chairman Brian Hall said.  “He was the ideal person at a crucial time in our history and we are deeply grateful for his contributions.  He has done a tremendous job setting us up for the new playoff system and it is now the Board’s job to take the lead in preparing our organization to best meet the future.”  
Hall said a national search for a permanent replacement would begin immediately and that former board chairman and present board member Duane Woods will serve as interim executive director.  Woods, who served as the Chairman of the Board from 2010-12 and was instrumental in hiring Shelton, retired in 2012 from his role as Waste Management’s lead executive in the West.  As part of his charge, Woods will assist the board as the organization moves into the playoff era. “Robert has really done an outstanding job of securing our future in the new Playoff system and I am happy to serve the Board and organization as it goes through this important review,” Woods said.