TULSA – After nearly 27 years leading the Oral Roberts athletic department, Mike Carter is transitioning from his role as Athletic Director to Athletic Director Emeritus. ORU President Dr. William M. Wilson announced during the recent ORU Board of Trustees meeting. Deputy Athletic Director Tim Johnson will assume the role of Athletic Director on August 1.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to have served as Athletic Director at Oral Roberts University,” said Carter. “I thank God for the opportunity to serve our wonderful student-athletes and invest in their lives competitively, intellectually, socially and spiritually. In my new role, I will consult with the new athletic leadership, while continuing to assist the Athletic Department in fundraising and community relations. This will give me the chance to spend more time with my family and grandchildren and hopefully play a little golf.”
Hired initially at ORU on November 4, 1994, Carter is the fourth-longest tenured athletic director currently running a NCAA Division I program. He’s guided the Golden Eagles to nine Commissioner’s Cups, winning 153 regular season and tournament titles, and sent 84 teams to NCAA Championships, including ORU’s magical run to the Sweet 16 in March.
Under Carter’s direction, the athletic department reached unprecedented success with three individual national championships in track and field (Andretti Bain-2, Jack Whitt) along with 102 All-Americans and more than 1,400 all-conference selections. The baseball program has had 74 draft picks in the last 25 years, and nine of them reached Major League Baseball.
He created the ELI Academic Learning Center that’s helped Golden Eagle student-athletes exceed a 3.0 GPA for 23-consecutive years and spearheaded the completion of the state-of-the-art John and Cheryl Clerico Golf Complex in 2019. Carter also was named the 2012 Division I Central Region Athletic Director of the Year and was honored by the Tulsa Sports Commission as the 2006 Sportsman of the Year. He faithfully served on the NCAA Division I Men’s Golf committee for the last 20 years and acted as the chair on two occasions.
The ORU Board of Trustees also established that the building of a new athletic center shall be named in honor of Mike Carter. The new facility will be constructed next to the Mabee Center, part of a comprehensive retro-fitting of the Mabee Center. It will contain two regulation basketball courts, a 10,000 square foot strength and conditioning space, accommodate the ELI Academic Learning Center, team meeting rooms, and office space for athletic department staff.
Johnson will officially take over as Athletic Director on August 1, 2021, and build on recent successes. He joined the department in 2015-16. Johnson was previously the assistant athletic director at Clemson. He currently oversees all external departments, directs capital fundraising, major gifts, and other sources of revenue generation along with strategic initiatives. He also provides sport oversight for baseball and assistance in the men’s basketball program.
“I believe Tim is well prepared and will do a great job as the Athletic Director,” added Carter. “I look forward to the bright days ahead for Golden Eagle athletics.”
The Golden Eagle Club increased its membership by 315 percent under Johnson’s leadership, while achieving its highest fundraising totals and premium seating sales. He also guided campaigns to renovate facilities for baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball and aided in constructing ORU’s first on-campus track and tennis complex.