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Tom Koller was named Assistant Athletics Director for External Affairs at Buffalo State in August of 2001 and was later promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director in 2010. Prior to coming to Buffalo State, the Western New York native enjoyed 11 years at the University at Buffalo, first as the Director of Sports Information and later as Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Corporate Relations.
At Buffalo State, his duties include supervision of five offices as well as three athletics programs. He is the department’s chief Development Officer, which includes liaison to the university’s Institutional Advancement office as well as oversight of team fundraising, the Bengal Club, major gift solicitation and the annual Bengal Club Golf Classic. Responsible for corporate relations, Koller has developed and implemented partnerships with local, regional and national companies to raise more than $1.6 million since his arrival. He is also responsible for marketing and promotions, and has oversight of camps and clinics. He is also host of Bengals Magazine, a 30-minute production featuring coaches and student-athletes airing on the web as well as Time Warner Cable.
Koller also serves as Chair of the Buffalo State Athletics Hall of Fame and, for the past 12 years, has served as the Chair of Orange Crush, Buffalo State Homecoming and Family Weekend. In addition, he has served as Master of Ceremony for the university’s annual Scholarship Gala, which raises some $300,000 annually, has been lead speaker at first-year Convocation and is an adjunct professor in the Communication Department specializing in media writing, sports journalism and oral communication / public speaking.
A graduate of Buffalo State (Journalism, 1980) with a Master’s Degree from UB (Administration of Higher Education, 1999), Koller began his professional career as a sports writer at the Rome Daily Sentinel before spending 12 years at the Niagara Gazette in Niagara Falls where his primary beats included the Buffalo Bills and Niagara University athletics. He also served as lead sports columnist as well as the assistant sports editor. While at the Gazette his writing earned six Associated Press awards as well as seven Gannett News Service Awards. Following the Gazette, he joined the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in Albany where he served as spokesperson and publicist as well as media relations officer for the Empire State Games.
At UB, Koller was a lead administrator in the so-called Run to Division I, the move of UB’s athletics program from NCAA Division III to II and, eventually, Division I. In addition to creating SUNY’s first-ever corporate marketing office, responsible for raising $750,000 annually for athletic scholarships, Koller developed comprehensive marketing / advertising campaigns (television, print, radio), and negotiated contracts for broadcast rights with local radio stations. He was a lead administrator in the development of the department’s 5-year strategic plan, managed a staff of 8, initiated additional fundraising events, created the department’s first-ever speaker’s bureau as well as the Bulls Bandwagon, a community outreach program targeting grades K-5 in the Buffalo Public Schools.
Koller and his wife, Linda, have two children, Caroline and Laurie Beth.