LOS ANGELES — Martin Jarmond was named UCLA’s ninth athletic director in the school’s 101-year history. He is the first athletic director without ties to the university.

At 39-years-old, Jarmond is one of the youngest athletic directors leading a Power Five school in the country. The North Carolina native said he almost did not apply for the job.

“We’re all going through things right now. But those four letters don’t change,” said Jarmond referring to the school’s acronym.

What You Need To Know

  • Martin Jarmond is UCLA's new athletic director and has no previous ties to the university

  • Jarmond was the first Black AD at Boston College, which is also true of his position at UCLA

  • Although hired in May, Jarmond first visited campus in mid-July

  • Jarmond has already launched a voting initiative for the UCLA athletics department

The past couple of months have been busy with Zoom calls, as he begins a lengthy process of checking in and developing a connection with past and present UCLA athletes in every sport.

Jarmond came west with a resumé of breaking barriers. He was the first Black athletic director at Boston College and the same is true at UCLA.

“It’s not lost on me that I’m the first Black AD, I wish we can get to a point where that’s not the conversation,” Jarmond said. 

Following the death of George Floyd, Jarmond immediately launched a voting initiative for the athletics department. 

“There’s a reason I’m here," he said. "And I’m excited to lead and expound upon that.”

Jarmond was hired in May. His role became official on July 1, following the departure of his predecessor Dan Guerrero. Because of COVID-19, Jarmond could not set foot on campus until mid-July.  

“You just have to be as candid and transparent as you can and share as much information as you can as far as the challenges we’re facing,” Jarmond said.   

As he moves forward trying to lead a new campus through uncertain times, UCLA’s new athletic director said he is excited and ready to learn.