Colin Preston was named Director of Athletics and Kinesiology in January 2016 after serving as Director of Athletics at Academy of Art University.
Preston began his career in collegiate athletics in 2007 when he was hired Dr. Jamie Williams who served as the first Director of Athletics at Academy of Art University. Preston began by assisting in the pursuit of NCAA membership application while laying the foundations with hiring coaches, staff, and obtaining athletic facilities.
In the fall of 2008, Preston was promoted to Associate Athletic Director of Operations. In that role, he oversaw facilities, event management, team travel, transportation, and finance. He was also an assistant coach for the women's soccer team in 2008 and, in 2011, he once again served as an assistant, this time for men's soccer.
Preston was then promoted to Associate Athletic Director of Compliance in 2012 where he worked on many aspects of Academy of Art University's NCAA membership, oversaw all aspects initial and continued eligibility, recruiting, rules and education. His role also included sport supervision of men's & women's soccer and baseball. The program would gain full NCAA approval in July 2012 and Preston would become the director of athletics the following January in 2013.
In his first year as Director of Athletics, the Urban Knights won two NCAA Division II National Championships, a feat never before done by a program in its first year of postseason eligibility. Both were achieved by women's track and field (indoor and outdoor) under that year's USTFCCCA National Indoor Coach of the Year Charles Ryan, coming with 32 All-Americans in the process. That same season saw women's basketball win its first PacWest Conference Tournament Championship, women's golf reach NCAA Regionals in addition to producing a PacWest Women's Golf Scholar Athlete of the Year and NCAA Woman of the Year Nominee in Crystal Superal, and the department's second consecutive PacWest Conference Community Engagement Award.
Preston's first full academic year as Director of Athletics in 2013-14 featured eight sport programs NCAA postseason appearances with the first for men's cross country and women's tennis as well as the second for women's basketball after the Urban Knights captured the PacWest regular season title with their best record to date and repeated as PacWest Tournament Champions all under PacWest Coach of the Year LaNay Larson. A total of 13 All-Americans included men's outdoor track & field 400m champion Jordan Edwards, women's golfer Andrea Nieto was the program's first NCAA Woman of the Year finalist, men's soccer had its best year to date with first-year head coach Mike Keller, and baseball had Brandon Poulson sign with the Minnesota Twins. Collective achievements featured team academic awards for volleyball (AVCA), women's tennis (ITA), a PacWest Conference Championship for women's outdoor track & field, and the program's first PacWest Diversity & Inclusion Award.
The 2014-15 season saw eight ART U sport programs compete in the NCAA postseason including Nationals appearances for men's cross country, women's golf, and both the men and women's indoor and outdoor track & field teams. A total of eight individuals were named All-Americans (highlighted by men's indoor track & field 400m champion Jordan Edwards), baseball had its fourth player picked up by a Major League ball club when Nate Gercken was drafted by the Minnesota Twins, women's cross country featured McKaela Christenson as PacWest Scholar-Athlete and Freshman of the Year, men's soccer had Brady Fiero finish as a semi-finalist for the Coach Wooden Cup, softball alum Elyse Cordova was named the PacWest representative for NCAA Woman of the Year, and women's golfer Crystal Wang was the NCAA Regional Tournament champion before heading to Nationals. Team accomplishments included women's tennis hosting its first NCAA Regional, women's soccer awarded its second NSCAA Team Academic Award, and softball having its best year since 2011 under first-year head coach Sonja Garnett. The department also won its first three National Association of Collegiate Marking Administrators awards including gold in the category of Promotional Schedule Poster, silver for ART U's "Share Your Shot" Photo Competition under the Interactive/Social Media category, and bronze for "Battle of the Halls" as Student Promotion.
Under Preston in 2015, ART U earned a host of individual honors highlighted by the first male cross country All-American in PacWest Runner of the Year Valentin Pepiot and the program's second Coach Wooden Cup Semi-Finalist in Jasmin Guinn. Collectively the department was honored as a finalist for the NCAA Award of Excellence for its women's soccer National Coming Out Day event. Additionally, the Urban Knights earned first among NCAA Division II in the NCAA TeamWorks Competition, with women's soccer ranked No. 1 in DII, volleyball No. 2, and women's golf No. 5.
Across his time as director of athletics, Preston served on the PacWest officiating committee as well as the scheduling committee. He was also a liaison for men's golf and men's soccer. From 2013-16, he served as a DII Athletics Directors Association board member and was a DII Regulatory Advisory Group member from 2015-16. He worked on two NCAA Regional Advisory Committees including men's soccer (2013-15) and men's golf (2014-16). Preston was also selected as a facilitator for the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum.
Prior to joining the Academy of Art University, Preston served as an Assistant Athletic Director at San Marcos High School in Santa Barbara for one year. As Assistant Athletic Director with the Royals, Preston handled the scheduling aspects of the entire athletic program as well as eligibility.
Preston, a California native, was born in Modesto and now resides in Hawthorne with his wife, Jess and daughter Madison. A graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara, Preston earned his undergraduate degree in History and minored in Sport Management. Preston received his master’s degree from University of San Francisco in Sport Management.