Athletics News

Stephen Joel Trachtenberg
Stephen Joel  Trachtenberg

President Emeritus; GW President 1988-2007


Stephen Joel Trachtenberg was the 15th president of the University and was instrumental in transforming the athletics program during his time as president from August 1988 to July 2007.

During his tenure, the men's and women's athletic departments merged and winning became a highpriority. President Trachtenberg took office during a 30-year drought in men's athletics that began in 1961 in which no GW basketball team made a post-season appearance.

Athletic efforts began to improve on all fronts at the school and after men's basketball hit a low point in 1989 with a 1-27 record, the team began to show gradual improvement leading to a 1991 National Invitation Tournament appearance under first-year coach Mike Jarvis. In 1993, men's basketball went to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Trachtenberg was supportive of Coach Jarvis's international recruiting philosophy, which helped produce winning teams. At the end of his tenure as University President, Trachtenberg enjoyed witnessing head basketball coach Karl Hobbs lead the men's basketball team to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances in '05, '06 and '07.

During Trachtenberg's 19-year tenure as president, several Colonials teams advanced to the postseason including the following in the NCAA Tournament: men's basketball (7); women's basketball (13); baseball (3); men's soccer (3); volleyball (4); women's soccer (1); women's rowing (1) and eight NCAA Regional appearances by gymnastics and one by men's golf.

Trachtenberg is President Emeritus and University Professor of Public Service at GW. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he and his wife Francine Zorn Trachtenberg live in Washington, D.C. They have two grown sons, Adam and Ben.