Associate athletics director to focus on revenue generation
Bobinski: 'We had some really, really good things and some special things happen.'
News and notes on Purdue Athletics
Second in command will administer external relations, football, men's basketball
Butikofer (pronounced BEET-ih-COE-fur) manages and coordinates all external relations functions for the Boilermakers - communications, creative services, licensing and marketing - as well as the department's relationships with Learfield (Purdue Sports Properties) and Nike, while also overseeing sports medicine/athletic training and serving as the day-to-day sport administrator for football and men's basketball. He fills the role of chief operations officer when athletics director Mike Bobinski is away from campus.
In Butikofer's first year with the Boilermakers, football boasted the largest growth in home attendance in the country (an increase of 13,433 per game from 2016 to 2017), and men's basketball averaged a school-record 14,344 fans with 10 sellouts among 17 home games.
Butikofer came to Purdue from Southern Utah University, where he had served as athletics director since August of 2015. He managed 18 programs, more than 100 staff members and some 370 student-athletes, with his personal mission to raise the profile of the athletics department and gain respect in the Big Sky Conference.
At Southern Utah, Butikofer oversaw two Big Sky championships - football and men's cross country - both in 2015. In addition, the gymnastics team was ranked No. 18 nationally in 2016, while men's cross country finished 27th.
Southern Utah student-athletes excelled in the classroom under Butikofer, boasting a 3.32 cumulative grade-point average at the conclusion of the spring 2017 semester. In his first year, 195 student-athletes earned Academic All-Big Sky honors, an increase of 51 percent from the previous year.
At a watershed moment in the athletics department's history, Butikofer led the charge in maximizing fundraising successes by forming the Thunderbird Athletic Foundation. He and his development team saw a 150 percent increase in overall revenue from fiscal year 2016 to 2017, reaching an all-time high. In addition to surges in corporate sponsorship revenue and individual donors, his guidance in coordinating marketing and promotion activities also increased ticket sales revenue, with Southern Utah achieving an all-time high in 2016-17. Football attendance swelled from an average of 3,261 in 2014 to 8,255 per game in 2016, an increase of 153 percent that ranked as the second-highest in the country. A single-game attendance record of 10,306 was set for the Thunderbirds' Homecoming game against Portland State on Sept. 24, 2016. Student attendance also improved significantly.
Butikofer was instrumental in strengthening athletics department relationships in many areas on the Southern Utah campus and in the Cedar City, Utah, community. He signed a contract extension with adidas that was the second-largest among FCS schools.
Butikofer went to Southern Utah from Army West Point, where he was associate athletic director (2011 to 2012) and senior associate athletic director (2012 to 2015). His responsibilities included business analysis, revenue generation, internal operations and supervision of seven athletics programs. Annual donations increased by 340 percent and ticket revenue by 40 percent during his tenure. Butikofer forged a relationship between Army West Point and Nike and also developed strategic partnerships with numerous vendors.
Butikofer's other collegiate athletics experience includes stints at Arizona State University (five positions, including director of the Sun Angel Foundation and ticket office, from 2000 to 2006) and the University of Minnesota (director of annual fund and premium seating from 2008 to 2011). Under his guidance, Arizona State saw an 80 percent increase in funds. Butikofer helped raise $100 million for TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis and spearheaded a $2.6 million increase in annual funding.
A native of Elgin, Iowa, Butikofer earned a bachelor's degree in sport, health, leisure and physical studies from the University of Iowa in 1999. He served as a men's basketball manager under head coach Tom Davis. Butikofer currently is finalizing a master's degree in sports leadership at Northeastern University.