VU Athletics restructured... yet again

Vice Chancellor David Williams announced another shakeup in Vanderbilt's athletics department Friday, eight months after a restructuring that drew national attention. Williams also announced the Vanderbilt would add women's bowling as a varsity sport. Here's the complete text of the press release from Vanderbilt news services.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A series of appointments to be effective June 1 will complete the restructuring of intercollegiate athletics that began last year at Vanderbilt, University officials announced today. The new appointments are the result of a thorough review that commenced in September 2003, when Vanderbilt announced a plan to ensure the integration of athletics into student and University life.

"Nine months ago, we started a building process with the goal of being centered on the success of students and coaches, and that's what this new organization does," said Vice Chancellor for Student Life and University Affairs and General Counsel David Williams. "Now we have assembled a great team of professionals who are committed to athletic and academic success in every Commodore program."

Williams will continue to provide executive leadership to Vanderbilt student athletics. Reporting to him will be a senior team of sport operations directors who will be responsible for specific varsity sports and a wide range of administrative areas, including budget and game day operations, and will play a major role in the recruiting of coaches and staff. In addition, each director will be expected to work with one or two Vanderbilt club sports that could be developed into a future varsity program.

Assistant Vice Chancellor Brock Williams will be one of the sport operation directors. Williams, a veteran student life professional who has responsibility for the student recreation center, will oversee the varsity sports of men's basketball and men's and women's golf, facilities and the Brownlee Currey Tennis Center.

Also named director of sport operations are:
* Brian Reese, who will oversee varsity football and women's lacrosse, the new sport of women's bowling, strength and conditioning and the equipment room. Reese currently serves as director of football operations.
* Carla Williams, who will oversee varsity women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, women's soccer, the Hendrix Dining Room and video operations. Williams also will become the next Senior Women's Administrator. She now serves as associate athletics director.
* Kevin Colon, who will oversee varsity men's baseball, men's soccer, men's cross country, women's track and cross country, life skills and sports medicine. Colon is the current director of the CHAMPS Life Skills program.

Student athletics support services have been further aligned with existing University operations through the following appointments:
* Patricia Marett, associate vice chancellor for student life, will now oversee the budget and business affairs for student athletics, as well as the ticket office.
* Chris Wyrick, who has served as associate athletics director for major gifts, has been named executive director of development. Wyrick will direct the National Commodore Club.
* Elizabeth Wright has been named director of academic support. She is a senior academic support counselor. The new academic support operation will work closely with the Office of the Provost to ensure that all student-athletes take full advantage of the academic opportunities at Vanderbilt.
* Candice Storey, also a senior academic counselor, has been named director of compliance. In addition, the compliance office will work closely with the Office of Academic Support and the University Office of Compliance.
* The CHAMPS Life Skills initiative will become a unit of the student activities office under the direction of Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Life Mona Hicks, who will continue to work with Kevin Colon during the transition. The CHAMPS program provides career and life counseling to student athletes.
* Jay Lowe has been named director of facilities and game events, a new position that will manage all sports venues on campus.

Changes announced last September that are now fully implemented include the integration of sports marketing and media relations into the Division of Public Affairs and the merger of athletics fundraising and alumni affairs into the Division of Development and Alumni Relations.

In addition to the new appointments, several veteran Vanderbilt athletics administrators will be departing for new opportunities. These include: Michelle Kennedy, associate director for business affairs and senior women's administrator and a former Commodore basketball standout, who will be entering Vanderbilt Law School later this summer; Steve Franks, associate director for operations, who announced in March that he would be departing in June to become director of athletics at Lovett School in Atlanta; and Jim Booz, director of compliance, who has joined the University of Virginia as associate athletics director.

"These individuals have made incalculable contributions to Vanderbilt student athletics," said Williams. "Their dedication to the students, the coaches and the highest standards of ethics has made us a better, more competitive university, and I am grateful for their years of service."

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