Party’s over: Fiesta Bowl Executive Director Robert Shelton leaves post

Arizona Sports News online

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl resembled a beat up house when Dr. Robert Shelton took over as Executive Director back in June of 2011. The bowl had been ripped apart with scandal following John Junker’s ugly exit who now may face jail time after funneling illegal campaign contributions through bowl employees.

Two and half years later, with the bowl’s credibility and stability re-established both locally and nationally, Shelton announced Tuesday morning the two mutually parted ways. He resigned and has moved on to Tucson-based, New York-chartered Research Corporation for Science Advantage.

“When I signed on the board gave me a certain set of goals,” Shelton told’s Brad Cesmat in a phone interview Tuesday. “Goals they wanted me to achieve and we’ve really knocked those out of the park. I say we because, while I’ve been fortunate to be the face and voice of the Fiesta Bowl, you know it takes a great staff and the backing of the board to do it…it just seemed like an ideal [time] for me and the bowl.”

Many wonder why the split happened now, with Shelton halfway through his four-year contract and on the brink of bringing the national championship game to Glendale in 2016.

“The timing makes sense in that we really secured both our host bowl status and the championship game,”  he explained to Cesmat. “There’s a lot more work to be done but we have a great team in place to do that work…the bowl is in a very, very good place.”

Apparently the house renovation is complete.