TUCSON, ARIZONA – The Tucson Sugar Skulls are pleased to announce that Jay Gonzales, a Tucson native, and long-time local businessman, has been named President of the organization effective immediately.
Gonzales will be responsible for all non-football operations including corporate sales and sponsorships, ticketing, game operations, and media and community relations. He replaces former Executive Director Mike Feder, who resigned at the end of the Sugar Skulls’ inaugural season to focus on his family and other business interests.
Gonzales served as the Sugar Skulls’ Director of Media Relations in the team’s first season. In addition to his media duties, he was primarily responsible for the team’s social media as well as the team’s graphic and promotional design work. The organization received the award for Best Media Relations from the Indoor Football League following the season.
“Jay checks all the boxes in terms of what we were looking for including being a part of the Tucson community his entire life,” said Sugar Skulls Owner Cathy Guy. “His leadership, passion, structure, and organization will allow us to continue to succeed.
“We believe in the importance of continuity and have been fortunate to have Jay on our team in our inaugural season. Jay is helping us build a winning culture based on preparation, hard work, accountability, and honesty.”
Gonzales is a graduate of Sahuaro High School and the University of Arizona where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He started as a reporter at the Arizona Daily Star in 1981 where he covered news, sports, and business over 10 years. He was the manager of Tucson Electric Power Company’s award-winning Public Affairs Team for nine years. He also spent two years as communication director at the City of Tucson. He has operated his own public relations firm since 2009 and has been a contributing editor and writer for BizTucson magazine, the region’s leading business magazine, for the past three years.
“Being a part of the Sugar Skulls this past year has been one of the great experiences of my professional life,” Gonzales said. “I’ve always been passionate about sports in this town, and to be able to lead a professional sports organization in my hometown is something that I never could have anticipated while growing up here.”
Gonzales has a long history of community involvement as a member of numerous boards and organizations, and in 1998 he was named the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year. His sports background includes serving on the boards of the Copper Bowl/Insight
Bowl and the Tucson Fiesta Bowl Committee. He has been a statistician for University of Arizona men’s basketball for nearly 30 years and is also a statistician for women’s basketball. He was a baseball and softball coach at The Gregory School for seven years where he also served as a public address announcer for the school’s basketball and volleyball teams for the last 10 years.
“Our mission as an organization is to be a positive influence on the community, to provide our fans with a fun, exciting and affordable product, and to positively impact business, not only downtown where we play, but throughout the region,” Gonzales said. “Everything we do will be centered on that mission.” Gonzales has been married to Gabrielle Fimbres Gonzales for 28 years. They have a son, Adam, who is an assistant director of communication services for the University of Arizona Athletics, and two daughters, Alana and Rachel, who both attend the UA.