August 25, 2006
|FROM:||Neil Kerwin, Interim President
|SUBJECT:||Athletics Director Joni Comstock Named an NCAA Senior Vice President
I announce to the AU community that director of athletics Dr. Joni Comstock will leave the university to become senior vice president for championships at the National Collegiate Athletics Association. She also will serve as the NCAA’s senior woman administrator and will report directly to NCAA President Myles Brand.
Joni has worked tirelessly to advance the interests of AU student-athletes and, in doing so, has distinguished herself and our Department of Athletics. I have great respect and admiration for her commitment to excellence in academics and in our sports programs. Under her leadership, we have consistently demonstrated that both academic and athletics achievement are not only compatible but reinforcing.
Joni leaves AU after three years as athletics director, having led the Eagles to 13 Patriot League titles and just this spring, the highest combined grade point average (GPA) for AU athletes in the program history (3.3 for its 243 student athletes). She improved fundraising support for AU athletics, helping the department earn $3 million toward its $7.5 million goal and yielding a record number of donors and dollars for each of the past two years. The focus of the campaign has been on facilities improvements and enhancing the experience for AU student-athletes.
This past season, she chaired the NCAA Women’s Basketball Committee and led the 10-person committee responsible for running the 64-team NCAA Division I women’s basketball tournament, including venues and selecting and seeding the teams. In 2006, she was named Division I-AAA Southeast Region General Sports TURF Systems Athletics director of the Year.
We are losing a valued colleague and good friend, but on behalf of our entire community, I express our deep appreciation for her numerous contributions to AU and extend our best wishes for her success at the NCAA. They are fortunate to have her.
Joni will be at AU through September. In the coming weeks, I will inform the campus community of transition oversight plans and the search for a new athletics director.
September 5, 2006 12:13 PM