Longtime SU Athletics Director Jake Crouthamel to retire
Longtime SU Athletics Director Jake Crouthamel to retireNovember 17, 2004Kevin Morrowkdmorrow@syr.edu
Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor today announced Athletics Director Jake Crouthamel’s plans for retirement from the University, effective June 30, 2005, and the immediate launch of a national search for his successor. Crouthamel, who has enjoyed a long and successful tenure as SU’s athletics director since March 1978, has been planning for his retirement since last spring.
“We knew this day had to come eventually,” Cantor says. “Needless to say, we face a daunting task in finding a successor to Jake. He’s a hard act to follow.
“Under Jake’s watch, SU Athletics has enjoyed unprecedented success-a national title in men’s basketball, nine national titles in men’s lacrosse, 14 football bowl appearances and 22 overall Big East Conference championships.
“We greatly expanded and improved our athletic facilities-most notably with the construction of the Carrier Dome, construction of a football wing and a coaches wing at Manley, a softball stadium, a soccer stadium, lush outdoor practice facilities, and so much more.
“Most importantly, Jake’s efforts have touched the lives of thousands of Syracuse University student-athletes who have grown and prospered both as competitors and as individuals,” Cantor says.
“Syracuse University Athletics plays an important role in the University’s relationship with our community and our alumni,” Cantor says. “And as the head of the program, the athletics director serves as a highly visible and prominent ambassador for the institution.”
The search for the new athletics director will commence immediately, according to Cantor, with the intention of hiring a new athletics director as soon as possible to allow ample opportunity for Crouthamel and the selected candidate to interact and for the new athletics director to become intimately involved in decision making as the athletics program moves forward.
Crouthamel will continue to manage his current responsibilities until the new athletics director is hired and at that time will move into a senior advisory capacity through June 30.
The search will be chaired by Michael Wasylenko, professor of economics and senior associate dean of SU’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Wasylenko is chair of the SU Athletic Policy Board and is SU’s faculty athletic representative to the NCAA.
The nine-person committee will consist of the chair; an academic dean; a student-athlete; a student; two coaches; and a representative each from three University divisions-Student Affairs; Institutional Advancement; and Business, Finance and Administrative Services (BFAS). The committee will offer recommendations to Cantor and to a small committee of SU trustees.
The announcement was made at an afternoon gathering in the Iocolano-Petty Football Complex.
During his nearly 27-year tenure at SU, Crouthamel has been frequently recognized both nationally and locally. He was awarded an SU Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence in 2002; with his wife, Carol, was named a recipient of the Salvation Army Community Team Spirit Award in 2002; was named National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Division I-A Northeast Region Athletics Director of the Year in 2000; won the National Football Foundation John L. Toner Award in 1999 and was named an SU Honorary Letterwinner of Distinction in 1995.
Among his national leadership positions, Crouthamel served as chair of the NCAA Football Issues Committee.
“Few people truly comprehend the duties of a Division I athletics director,” Cantor says. “You have to be selfless. You work long hours. You make tough decisions. You’re often squarely on the bull’s eye. You are responsible for the growth and well-being of hundreds of student-athletes a year. And you are also responsible for the lives of your coaches and your staff, and by extension the well-being of their families.
“It’s a heavy burden, and one that you have to bear well if you’re going to be successful. This describes Jake Crouthamel to a T. He has left an indelible mark of long-term success on SU Athletics. His devotion to the program and to the University is unquestioned and will be long remembered.
“In national circles Jake is one of the most respected men in his profession. He was integral to the development of the BIG EAST Conference and has been one of the keys to its longevity and success,” says Cantor.
“Jake has built a strong administrative staff and put in place high-quality coaches. And he has been responsible for the substantial development of our athletics facilities-both the venues for competition and the facilities necessary for academic and other support services,” says John Couri, chair of SU’s Board of Trustees. “Throughout his long tenure at SU he has managed a challenging, high-pressure and highly visible job-and he has done it extremely well.”