Mike Aguirre: A life-long leader
Mike Aguirre had a unique career as a student-athlete that took him from the gridiron to testifying on behalf of fellow student-athletes before a Congressional committee before he even graduated.
As a wide receiver for the Arizona State football team from 1996 to 2000, Aguirre exhibited prowess as a leader early and often by making multiple appearances in national print and television media to discuss student-athlete issues. He left a legacy that endures today in helping to found the then-Pac-10 Athletic Conference’s Student-Athletic Advisory Committee in 2000-2001.
Nowadays, all 1,077 NCAA member schools and every conference have a SAAC that represents their respective student-athletes. The committees provide a way for student-athletes to offer input on Association rules, regulations and policies that affect them. Additionally, NCAA Divisions I, II and III have national SAAC committees representing student-athletes on a holistic basis.
Aguirre served as the Arizona State’s SAAC chairman from 1999 to 2000 and was chair of the NCAA Division I SAAC from 2001 to 2002. It was during his tenure on the NCAA Division I SAAC that he went to Congress to testify before the Energy & Commerce Committee, solidifying his desire to remain involved in college athletics governance.Later, Aguirre served as a delegate for the United States at the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Forum in Cape Town, South Africa in 2002, and as a panelist on The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics’ A Summit on the Collegiate Athletic Experience in 2005.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in history in 2000, Aguirre continued his education at his alma mater by earning two more degrees — a master’s in higher- and post-secondary education in 2002 and a law degree in 2005. Always the campus leader, he served as the managing editor of the Arizona State Law Journal, a nationally recognized legal periodical that serves as the primary scholarly publication of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State.
Aguirre is now a successful corporate attorney specializing in business finance with an international law firm. In 2012, he was recognized as a Southwest Super Lawyers “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers magazine.
He currently lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona, and still actively follows the world of college sports – not only the games but current events in policy and governance.