Athletics News

George Washington University Athletic Director Announces Retirement

Feb. 17, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - George Washington University Athletic Director Jack Kvancz has announced his retirement effective this summer after 17 years in the position.

The university also announced the creation of a new Board of Trustees committee to conduct a comprehensive review of athletics at the university, including 22 varsity sports and three major facilities. Kvancz has agreed to serve as a special advisor to the committee and assist the university in overseeing the implementation of the athletic department's new strategic plan. The GW Board has named trustee and alumnus Randy Levine, B.A. '77, president of the New York Yankees, as chair of its newly formed Athletics Committee, which will evaluate GW Athletics to determine how best to raise the university's athletic performance profile nationally.

Known as an insightful administrator and builder of sound athletic programs, Kvancz guided the growth of GW Athletics to its current 22 varsity sports. He was involved in several capital improvements in GW's athletic facilities, which included the multi-million dollar renovation of the Charles E. Smith Center and the construction of the Lerner Health & Wellness Center. Kvancz was also instrumental in upgrading athletic facilities at GW's Mount Vernon campus in D.C.

"The university has been good to me and my family, and I look forward to serving as an advisor to Mr. Levine and the committee. GW has been a part of my family for 17 years, and I am excited about the next phase of our relationship," said Kvancz.

During his tenure GW Athletics achieved successes that included six NCAA Tournament appearances for men's basketball and 12 appearances for women's basketball. GW teams also won multiple Atlantic 10 championships in men's and women's basketball and soccer, and baseball and volleyball. His basketball expertise also led to a five year stint on the prestigious NCAA Men's Basketball Selection Committee.

"On behalf of the entire George Washington University, I want to thank Jack Kvancz for his many years of faithful service and his leadership of GW's athletic programs," said GW President Steven Knapp. "During his tenure Jack has helped to establish GW's athletic programs as the center of school spirit and student life."

"GW Athletics programs and facilities greatly grew over the years due to Jack's leadership," said Robert Chernak, senior vice provost and senior vice president for student and academic support services. "Jack has many accomplishments during his nearly two decades at the university, and we are grateful for his service and that he will assist us during this transition period. He will always be a proud Colonial."

A national search for a new Athletic Director will begin immediately.

The Athletics Committee, comprised of trustees and GW senior leadership, will oversee the development of a strategic plan for the Department of Athletics, which will include an evaluation of athletics management, sponsorships, fundraising and facilities and infrastructure. The strategic plan also will review the student-athlete experience at George Washington, including academic support, admissions standards and scholarships for these students. A steering committee also will be established that will be comprised of students, alumni, faculty and staff.

Board of Trustees Chairman W. Russell Ramsey, B.B.A. '81, said Levine's experience will be key to moving athletics at the university in a new direction. "Randy Levine's tremendous leadership and sports management expertise will assist this committee in shaping its recommendations to continue raising the quality and stature of GW Athletics," said Ramsey, a former GW baseball player and GW Athletic Hall of Famer.

The marketing of GW Athletics also will be reviewed, and the committee will offer recommendations on how best to engage the university community, alumni and neighbors in athletic events. The committee also will be charged with determining how to preserve and build athletic traditions and boost campus spirit. Diversity, inclusion and gender equity also will be examined, as well as club sports, recreational sports and health and wellness.

Recommendations by the Athletics Committee will be submitted to the Board of Trustees by summer 2011.

"Together we will help shape the future of athletics at the university. GW has the commitment and passion to help our student athletes reach their potential in the classroom, the field, the water and the court," said Levine, a former GW student-athlete, who also is a member of the board of the YES Network, the number one regional sports network in the country. "From basketball to lacrosse, this is a great opportunity to take GW Athletes to a new level."

George Washington student-athletes have a 95 percent graduation success rate. More than 300 of GW's nearly 450 student-athletes regularly make the Dean's List. GW athletics teams have made 54 NCAA tournament appearances and 50 conference championships since 1989. The department's facilities include the Charles E. Smith Center, Lerner Health and Wellness Center and Mount Vernon Athletic Complex.