Fort Worth, Texas, May 21, 2009 – Tom Starr, executive director of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl since its inception in 2003, will be leaving the position May 29 to start his own consulting business.
“Tom has done an outstanding job with the development of the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl since being named the first full-time employee in 2003,” said Pete Derzis, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Regional Television. “We are extremely grateful for his leadership the past six years, especially with the Armed Forces involvement. His background with military affairs proved very beneficial in the planning the past three seasons. We wish him well with his new endeavors.”
Derzis added that a search has begun for Starr’s replacement.
“Words cannot convey how much I have appreciated and enjoyed working with the Disney Company, ESPN and especially ESPN Regional Television,” said Starr, who orchestrated the name change for the postseason collegiate football game from the Fort Worth Bowl to the Armed Forces Bowl in 2006. “That also certainly applies to the individuals who make up the number one bowl staff in the business, and our hundreds of wonderful volunteers. I will miss them all dearly.”
Despite his leaving the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl, Starr said he has “opportunities that I believe I just can’t pass up at this time. It’s been a great six-year run, and it’s been fun to watch the bowl grow and prosper.”
Before being selected to head the Fort Worth-based post¬season gam, owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, Starr served in the Executive Directorship role at both the Sun Bowl (El Paso) and the Freedom Bowl (Anaheim). He also served for a short time in a fourth bowl as the Senior Associate Executive Director of the Independence Bowl (Shreveport).
A Vietnam veteran with a Bronze Star Medal and two Joint Service Commendation (Oak Leaf Cluster) Medals earned during his tour of duty, Starr started his career in the office of sports information at Iowa State University before becoming the Service Bureau Director in the Big Eight Conference office.
After four years with the Big Eight, which eventually would become the Big 12 Conference, Starr returned to ISU as Sports Information Director, replacing Harry Burrell.
Ten years after entering the bowl business, Starr founded the preseason Disneyland Pigskin Classic in 1989, matching two of the top teams in the nation. He was named recipient of the Bud Dudley Bowl Executive Award in 2000, presented by the All-American Football Foundation.
A graduate of the University of Iowa, Starr completed course work for a master’s degree at Iowa State. He has also studied at the ESPN School of Management and the U.S. Army Adjutant General School. A native of Newt on, Iowa, Starr is married to the former Cathy Worsham of El Paso, and they have a daughter, Cherish, and a son, Carter.