Sam Jankovich, a Butte, Montana native is sports administrator that has held several positions including athletic director at the Washington State and the University of Miami. He also was the CEO of the New England Patriots of the National Football League and president and general manager of the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League.
In 1957 Jankovich earned a letter in football at the University of Montana (then known as Montana State University). His playing career was cut short by a serious knee injury. Jankovich tried to give his scholarship back but Grizzly coach Jerry Williams refused his offer.
After graduation he became a football coach at Butte High School where he won two state championships. Eventually Jankovich moved to the college level becoming an assistant to Jim Sweeney at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. In 1968 he followed Sweeney to Washington State University where he served as head assistant coach and defensive coordinator. He left coaching in 1972, when he became an assistant athletic director at Washington State.
After three years as an assistant athletic director he became WSU's athletic director. He spent seven years in this position where he established a reputation for building athletic facilities including expanding the football stadium and adding a new track facility and baseball stadium.
In 1982 Jankovich took a job as athletic director at the University of Miami. He held this position from 1983 to 1990. During his tenure the Miami's football team rose to perennial national power and men's basketball returned after a 15-year absence. Jankovich oversaw several national championships including three in football and one each in baseball, men's and women's tennis, and women's golf.
On December 20, 1990 he was hired by Victor Kiam as Chief Executive Officer of the New England Patriots. He was hired to rebuild the team after Patriots finished 1-13 while being plagued by off-the-field problems.
Since leaving the Patriots, Jankovich has worked as a consultant to various corporations and universities including doing fundraising for the U.S. Olympic Committee. He would eventually become president and general manager of the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League.