Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Mike Cragg, a 26-year veteran of sports administration, helps lead the Duke Athletic Department in his role as Deputy Director of Athletics/Operations. During his time at Duke, Cragg has been an integral leader and strategic planner within virtually every area and aspect of the athletics department and thus his role as Duke’s chief operations officer.
He currently serves as the senior administrator for the men’s basketball program as well as overseeing all of the facilities & planning for all 26 of Duke’s intercollegiate sports. He has worked directly under Dr. Kevin White, Duke’s Vice President and Director of Athletics, for the past five years, and serves on his executive staff committee responsible for the day-to-day administration of the department.
Cragg has one of the more unique set of responsibilities in all of college athletics – a testament to his long-term dedication and successful track record in the growth of the entire department. Duke annually ranks among the most successful programs both on and off the fields of intercollegiate competition with top graduation rates and Top 10 annual NACDA Directors’ Cup finishes.
At Duke since 1987, his chief responsibilities are to oversee the administration, operations and fundraising for Duke’s highly-successful men’s basketball program. The senior administrator of the program since 2000, he helped found the Duke Basketball Legacy Fund and has been responsible for helping to raise over $65 million, while also completing the program’s naming gift endowment program with over $25 million in philanthropic gifts.
At the same time, Cragg also leads Duke’s athletics facilities team and serves as the chief strategist for over $150 million in new or planned facilities construction at Duke since 2000. He was a member of the pivotal strategic planning team that created “Unrivaled Ambition” in 2008 and then a Master Facilities Plan which serves as Duke’s current blueprint and mission for the athletics department within the framework of a world class higher education institution.
Two of the more recent major projects were the $18.5 million Michael W. Krzyzewski Center - Dedicated to Academic & Athletic Excellence and the Pascal Fieldhouse which serves as the football program’s practice facility. Pascal Fieldhouse is a LED certified building and is considered one of the top football practice facilities in the country.
Cragg oversees the Bostock Group which is Duke’s current $100 million facilities planning group with a focus on transforming the football program and impacting all 26 sports. The comprehensive plan has begun construction in 2013 with new lacrosse/soccer practice and student recreation practice fields and will ultimately create a new track & field stadium, dramatically improve Koskinen Stadium, re-create Duke’s Olympic sports student athlete training and health complex, and create new amenities in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Cragg works closely with the football program in focusing on facility needs, including the upcoming reconstruction of historic Wallace Wade Stadium into a modern day, fan-engaging experience. A new suites and club Tower will take form in the near future along with a more intimate field experience for the best of ACC Football. Duke’s strategic and innovative thinking will help put the program among the nation’s leaders in the decades ahead.
In addition, Cragg is the day-to-day contact with Nike, Inc., as part of the school’s comprehensive all-sport partnership. The 48-year-old has previously served as the director of media relations for 10 years at Duke.
Joining the department in May of 1987 as an assistant sports information director, he was promoted to Sports Information Director in 1990, and then spent 10 years in that role before moving into the director’s position of the Duke Basketball Legacy Fund during the fall of 1999. He helped coordinate media operations at numerous national events, including serving on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four Media Coordination Committee in 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2000.
In 2004, Cragg was promoted to Associate Athletics Director and in 2008 was again promoted to Senior Associate Athletics Director, adding the administration and day-to-day oversight of all facilities for intercollegiate and recreation use at Duke.
Cragg is active in national leadership programs within intercollegiate athletics as a member of the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) and 1A Athletics Directors’ Association. Cragg is currently in the 1A Fellows program and attended the 1A Annual Institute in 2011 and 2013. He has also received a certificate in advance sports administration from the Sports Management Institute (SMI).
Cragg has numerous administrative responsibilities within the basketball program, including the coordination of the annual K Academy basketball fantasy camp, the Duke Venture Capital Co-Investment Fund, the Coach K / Fuqua Conference on Leadership and the establishment of the Fuqua / Coach K Center of Leadership & Ethics (COLE).
The Basketball Legacy Fund is a unique and intimate donor program established to endow the basketball program as well as finance basketball-related projects. Partners in the Fund, which is now at 35 members, give a minimum gift of $1 million and have provided over $65 million in funds since its inception. Serving as Chairman of the Fund is former Duke All-America and multiple All-NBA performer Grant Hill.
Cragg grew up Yakima, Wash., and then received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington in 1986.
He and his wife, Paige, recently celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary and have lived in Durham since 1987. They have two children in college – Shelby, a junior at Ringing College for Art & Design, and Michaela, a sophomore at Wake Forest University.