Joe Folda will be entering his 11th year as the full-time and permanent Director of Athletics. Folda previously had two stints running the department, serving as interim AD in 2001 and 2003-05.
In his time as director of athletics, Folda has been behind the steering wheel of an athletics expansion that hasn’t been seen in the history of CSU-Pueblo Athletics. He has taken the lead on a variety of construction projects, including the renovation of Massari Arena, and the reinstatement of Football, Wrestling and Women’s Track and Field programs in 2008-09. Since the athletic expansion in 2008-09, the University’s enrollment has increased by 25 percent, and the amount of student-athletes at the University has more than doubled.
Prior to that, Folda spent 18 years as the head basketball coach of the men’s program at CSU-Pueblo. As a basketball coach, Folda distinguished himself as one of the top tacticians and teachers in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The all-time winningest coach in school history, Folda’s dedication and intensity on the hardwood has carried over to the leadership he has used to lead the athletic department.
In his career at CSU-Pueblo, Folda led the ThunderWolves to the 1991 Colorado Athletic Conference Tournament Championship, a share of the 1994 and 1996 CAC regular-season title, the 1998 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference West Division Championship, a berth in the 1998 North Central Regional Tournament, as well as several ventures into the NCAA II Top 20, most recently a number 25 ranking on December 6, 1999.
During his tenure as the T-Wolves’ head coach, Folda guided the team to 14 consecutive seasons with an above .500 finish and extended the school’s streak of non-losing seasons to 25. He established a coaching philosophy of tough, man-to-man defense and fast break offense.
In 1991, Folda led his team to one of the best seasons in school history. That squad set a school record for wins in a season (25), won the first-ever CAC Tournament Championship and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament. That same year, Folda was crowned the NAIA District VII Coach of the Year. In 1997-98, Folda guided the ThunderWolves to a school-record 14 consecutive wins and their first RMAC West Division title.
Prior to arriving at CSU-Pueblo, Folda coached at Eastern Washington University - an NCAA Division I program. He spent 11 years at EWU, three as a graduate assistant, five as an assistant coach and three as head coach. He led his teams to a 42-42 record, including a 20-8 record in his second season at the reins of the EWU program.
Folda began his coaching career at Seibert (Colo.) High School in 1966. During the next 13 years, he coached at Holy Family High School in Denver, Sidney (Neb.) High School, and Sterling (Colo.) High School. Folda began his collegiate playing career at Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, Colo. As a two-year starter at Northeastern, he twice earned all-conference and all-region honors, and was named honorable mention All-American.
After NJC, Folda transferred to the University of Northern Colorado. He led his team to consecutive NCAA Division II National Tournament appearances and was the Bears’ top scorer as a senior, averaging 15.1 points per game. Folda earned all-conference, all-region and honorable mention All-American.
Folda received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Colorado before earning his Masters degree from Eastern Washington.
Folda, and his wife, Rosalie, have three children: Cyndi, Duke, and Mike, who played guard for the T-Wolves in 2001 and 2002. He also has six grandchildren.