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Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

CSUB athletic director Jeff Konya.

Bakersfield is a place Jeff Konya will always call home.

As he steps down as Cal State Bakersfield's athletic director, Konya said he knows the athletic platform for the university will to continue to grow as there is more for the next person to take on.

"I anticipated being in Bakersfield longer but when an opportunity like this comes along, you have to take it," Konya said via telephone from Michigan, Tuesday on "Roadrunner Rundown."

Konya, who is from Michigan, announced Monday that he was stepping down and heading to Oakland University in Michigan to be their athletic director.

When Konya arrived at CSUB in November 2010, he made it his task to create a sense of pride and collaborative effort between the staff, coaches and students athletes.

As a sports fan himself, he attended almost every game at CSUB, cheering on athletes from the sideline.

"It's something that is in my DNA," he said. "I created a personal relationship with coaches and athletes because you have to show support."

As an athletic director for a Division I school, Konya said his position in Bakersfield will help him in Michigan.

But he takes the Bakersfield pride with him to the East Coast.

"These student athletes are the best I've been around," he said.

Dr. Thomas D. Wallace, vice president of student affairs at CSUB, said the potential new athletic director should share Konya's mentality of moving foward.

"He knew what the mission of the university was and he recruited individuals that were a great fit for CSUB," Wallace said.

CSUB's search committee will look for local candidates, but will also search nationally.

"It's hard not to fall in love with our students when you come to Bakersfield," he said. "These students are committed and the coaches are here because they have chosen to be here."