XU Chooses New AD

Xavier University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., announced today that Greg Christopher has been selected as Xavier's new Director of Athletics.

Christopher, who has spent the past six-and-a-half years as the Director of Athletics at Bowling Green State University, will take over the Xavier position in May. Christopher is the 11th athletic director in Xavier history.

"Greg's commitment to student athletes is not just about winning games and matches," said Graham. "Character and leadership building, academic excellence and community service are signature traits of how he runs a program. His commitment to our Jesuit value of caring for the whole person, makes him the right choice to lead Xavier's athletic teams into the Big East Conference."

Christopher oversaw 18 athletic programs with over 400 student-athletes at BGSU, which is a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA).

"I am honored to be joining Xavier Nation," said Christopher. "The institution's values and tradition of excellence in both academics and athletics make this a tremendous opportunity. I am thankful for the Xavier administration, especially (President) Fr. Mike Graham and (Vice President) John Kucia, Mike (Bobinski) and the coaches and staff, who have created a strong foundation. This is a distinctive time in Xavier's history and I am committed to building on its excellence by leading Xavier Athletics with integrity and passion."

Athletic highlights of Christopher's tenure include 11 Mid-American Conference championships. In women's hoops, the Falcons became the first team in conference history to advance to the 'Sweet 16' of the NCAA in 2006-07, winning a MAC record 31 games along the way. Women's Basketball, which made the 2013 WNIT, has now made nine consecutive national postseason appearances, including five trips to the NCAA Tournament. The volleyball team, which advanced to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament, won the 2012 MAC Tournament championship.

The BGSU men's athletic programs have enjoyed similar success under Christopher. Football has played in three post-season bowl games. In 2009, the men's basketball team won its first regular season MAC title in decade, advancing to the NIT post-season tournament. And baseball won three consecutive MAC East Division titles, including overall conference regular season championships in 2008 and 2009.

In the classroom, the Falcons have flourished, as the number of student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or above has increased in each of the last five years. Christopher implemented the Falcon Leadership Academy, a leadership development program for BGSU student-athletes. Christopher, along with three other administrators in the athletics department, serves as an instructor for the class, which includes each of the department's 18 varsity sports.

Christopher has also moved the BGSU athletic department forward in numerous external areas, including fundraising and corporate sponsorship. Athletics raised $28 million during the university's recent campaign, including the two largest gifts in BGSU's history. And during Christopher's tenure, annual giving revenue to Athletics has tripled while more than doubling the donor base.

There have been $60 million in new or renovated athletics facilities during Christopher's tenure, including the Sebo Athletic Center and the new $36 million Stroh Center that is home to basketball and volleyball.

Christopher came to BGSU from Purdue University, where he worked from 1997-2006 as Associate A.D. for External Relations and John Purdue Club Director. He was accountable for external and revenue-related areas for Purdue. During his tenure, Purdue raised $111 million for Athletics as part of the university's comprehensive campaign. Projects that came to fruition in that time frame included tripling the number of endowed athletic scholarships and several facility additions or renovations.

Christopher also has an extensive background in media. He served as Executive Director for the Society of Professional Journalists in Greencastle, Ind., from 1994 to 1997 after joining the organization in 1991 as its Marketing and Development Director. Prior to working with SPJ, Christopher worked with Eure Communications and WCHV/WWWV in Charlottesville, Va., from 1988-90. In that capacity, he managed and sold station promotions, including partnerships with the athletics program at the University of Virginia. He also worked with the page program at NBC in New York in 1988 where he served as a research analyst.

Christopher earned a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from nearby Miami University in 1988 and earned his MBA from Miami in 1991. A former linebacker, he played football for one season before his career was cut short due to injury. While at Miami, Christopher was also involved as a television and radio color commentator for football and play-by-play voice for hockey.

Christopher, a member of the NCAA's Committee on Infractions, also served as the chair of the Mid-American Conference's Athletic Directors' Council. He completed a four-year term on the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Committee in 2012, and served as chairman of the committee in his final year.

A 47-year-old native of West Lafayette, Ind., Christopher is married to the former Tina Smith of Leetonia, Ohio. Tina teaches high school English at St. Ursula Academy in Toledo. Also a 1988 graduate of Miami, Tina received her bachelor's degree in Education and earned her Master's in Guidance and Counseling in 1995 from Butler University. Greg and Tina have a son, Zachary (17) and two daughters, Megan (15) and Allison (12).

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