Texas Rangers president of business operations Rick George has resigned to accept the athletic director job at the University of Colorado, it was announced Wednesday.
George takes over for Mike Bohn, who submitted his resignation in May after eight years in charge of the athletic program. Bohn stepped down after CU made it clear the school wanted to head in another direction and that a switch might trigger better opportunities to raise money.
Chancellor Philip DiStefano said George's "financial and management acumen, his networking and relationship development skills and his enthusiasm ... all make him the ideal leader for CU athletics at this important and challenging moment in our history."
George was promoted to his current position in March after joining the Rangers as chief operating officer in October 2010.
The Rangers also promoted general manager Jon Daniels to president of baseball operations at the same time, leaving Nolan Ryan with the title of CEO, which caused the Hall of Fame pitcher to go silent most of spring training and led to speculation of a rift between him and Daniels.
Ryan praised George's work for the Rangers on Wednesday.
"We wish Rick well as he pursues his passion of college athletics," Ryan said. "We appreciate his many contributions the past few years, particularly his efforts to help us increase revenues and attendance to record levels.
"We have a deep, experienced team in place on the business operations side that is prepared to maintain our strong performance while we look for Rick's successor."
The Rangers established record levels for sales and sponsorship revenue while surpassing the 3 million mark in home attendance for the first time last season.
George's contract is for five years, pending approval by the board of regents, and he will begin Aug. 12. He has spent much of his 30-year career at the collegiate level, including serving as assistant athletic director for football operations at Colorado from 1987-91.
"I am excited about the new opportunity that awaits me at the University of Colorado and the opportunity to be back in intercollegiate athletics," George said. "I am grateful to the Texas Rangers ownership, specifically Ray Davis and Bob Simpson, for the opportunity that they have given me as the chief operating officer the last three years. The Rangers have not only a great team on the field but also a great team in the front office under Nolan Ryan's leadership."
In addition to working for the Rangers, George also was executive vice president and chief of operations for the PGA Tour. He's held positions on the collegiate level, outside of Colorado, too. He was at Illinois (recruiting coordinator) and Vanderbilt (associate athletic director for external operations).
"CU is a special place for my family and me, and this is a marvelous opportunity at a great university in the best collegiate athletic conference in the country," George said.
Interim athletic director Ceal Barry, who was head of the search committee, said George's diverse resume made him stand out.
"Rick is the complete package," Barry said. "He brings the kind of broad-based experience in athletics financial and operational management that CU needs at present, but also the vision we need to attract new donors, fans and partners.
"I'm looking forward to working with him again, and I am as excited as I've been in a long time about the future of intercollegiate athletics at CU-Boulder."
Information from ESPNDallas.com's Todd Wills and The Associated Press was used in this report.