Sports


Stanford goes to Delaware to select its new athletic director

Bernard Muir was intrigued about becoming an college athletic director as early as his high school days.

His determination has paid off. After 25 years of athletic administrative experience at Delaware, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Butler, Auburn and the NCAA, Muir will take as athletic director at Stanford Univeristy.

Muir was introduced to the public Friday by Provost John Etchemendy. He begins work in September.

"I knew I didn't have professional aspirations (in basketball), but I knew it would be great to work behind the scenes, to help students do their craft," Muir said. "I was intrigued by all the activities surrounding game days, practices, and all the things going on behind the scenes. And my goal as a high school student was to become an athletic director."

Muir, who takes over from Bob Bowlsby, has led Delaware's athletic program since 2009 and, before that, was director of athletics at Georgetown.

As an undergraduate at Brown University, Muir was a four-year letter winner in basketball.

"On one of my first days on campus I sought out the athletic director," Muir said. "His name was John Perry and he became a mentor of mine, a great mentor."

He also played at Stanford as part of the Apple Invitational in 1987.

"I remember Todd Lichti lighting us up quite a bit," Muir said. "I had a great collegiate experience, but I knew administration was what I wanted to get into. I knew my basketball career probably would be over after college."

At Delaware, Muir is credited with increasing the competitiveness of Blue Hen varsity sports, helping secure NCAA Division I tournament games on campus and enhancing athletic facilities.

"Bernard Muir has a national reputation as a superb athletic administrator," said Etchemendy. "He also has a deep personal understanding of what it means to be a scholar-athlete, performing at the very highest levels both academically and athletically."

In February 2012, Muir was named to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Committee. The committee oversees all aspects of NCAA collegiate men's basketball at the Division I level and serves as the selection committee for the NCAA Tournament. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of USA Basketball.

"I'm thrilled to be joining the Stanford community," Muir said. "This is a wonderful opportunity for our family. I'm looking forward to being part of the world-class tradition of excellence that characterizes the student-athlete experience at Stanford."

Bowlsby left Stanford in June to become commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. Patrick Dunkley, deputy director of athletics, has served as interim athletic director since Bowlsby's departure.

The Stanford program Muir will head has won 18 consecutive Directors' Cup trophies as the top overall athletic program in the country. Stanford athletic teams have won at least one national championship annually for the past 36 years, the longest such streak in the nation.

Stanford teams have won 103 NCAA Championships, ranking second in the nation. No other school has won more than Stanford's 423 individual national titles. All 35 programs exceed the NCAA's Academic Progress Rate.

The Stanford Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation supports 35 varsity sports as well as campus-wide recreation, fitness and wellness programs.

"The main thing across the board is getting to understand the place," Muir said. "I know there are some coaching hires to make. I know there's some financial challenges. But I will be brought up to speed very quickly and I'll be here to support our student-athletes and coaches."

The university employs about 100 coaches and assistants. Ten current coaches have led their teams to one or more NCAA titles.

Muir was chosen after an extensive nationwide search headed by Robert Simoni, the Donald Kennedy Chair in the Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences and professor of biology, and Jeff Wachtel, senior assistant to the president.

"It's going to be a heck of a learning curve," Muir said. "But I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm looking forward to getting going."

— Stanford News Service

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