March 4, 2004
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
The University of Louisville has enhanced the 12-year contract of Vice President for Athletics and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich for the Cardinals' athletics leader through 2016.
"I sincerely appreciate the confidence that has been placed in me," said Jurich. "I've said it before, but the pride and passion this community has in our athletics program inspire me to do my absolute best every day. With our move into the Big East Conference next year, the sky is truly the limit. I am so thankful that our university has a fantastic leader in Dr. Jim Ramsey in place that together we can move our one university to new heights. I feel very privileged to be in this position and I can assure everyone that I will continue to pour my heart and soul into this university."
Under the revised contract, Jurich will receive an increase in his base salary and his annual deferred compensation.
Jurich's leadership over the past year -- his sixth at Louisville and his 16th as a Division I athletic director -- is enviable for any program. From facilities to gender equity, from community involvement to national leadership, Jurich's actions prompted one state media outlet to recently write that "It all shows yet again that the hiring of Tom Jurich, the architect of this Louisville emergence, as U of L AD in the fall of 1997 stands as one of the most significant events in our state's modern sports history."
Jurich engineered the Cardinals' move to the Big East Conference, a matriculation that is a result of years of advancement and positioning he foresaw years ago. U of L's entrance into the Big East Conference will create dramatic new opportunities for the Cardinals, particularly through the league's long-term association with the lucrative Bowl Championship Series. Pride in the university is evident in over 20,000 specialty U of L license plates sold for personal vehicles around the state, more than any other Kentucky university. Before the Cardinals' announced move to the Big East, less than 3,000 of the plates were sold.
Jurich's high energy, community and family-minded approach has been contagious, infecting the university, city and U of L fans everywhere with a positive outlook for the future of Cardinal Athletics.
Jurich has been aggressive in his pursuit of building first-class facilities at U of L. Most recently, U of L broke ground on a $10.5 million natatorium in October and construction will begin soon on a new $7 million baseball stadium. In addition, U of L is currently in the fund-raising stages for a boat house, indoor practice facility and a basketball/volleyball practice facility addition and renovation. Under Jurich's guidance, U of L built $13.5 million Cardinal Park, an on-campus sports park which includes a softball stadium, a track and soccer stadium, an artificial turf stadium for field hockey, a fitness trail, outdoor basketball and sand volleyball courts, and a rare state-of-the-art playground which has equipment to accommodate all children, including those with physical disabilities.
Academic success has risen dramatically during Jurich's watch as well. Honorees on the Conference USA Commissioner's Honor Roll (cumulative 3.0 GPA or better) rose from 44 in 1996 to 158 in 2003.
Those earning recognition on the U of L Athletic Director's Honor Roll (3.0 or better grade point average for a semester) has increased dramatically, most recently reaching 262 for the 2003 fall semester, a figure which represents half of the total students involved in athletics for the Cardinals (the number was 148 before his arrival in 1997). U of L has been recognized by the National Consortium for Academics in Sports for its Degree Completion Program, which assists former student-athletes in completing their degrees.
In addition to his constructive efforts at Louisville, Jurich is active in the scope of collegiate athletics on a conference and national level. He just completed a three-year term on the NCAA Management Council and also served on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee from 2000-03. He was named Vice-President for Athletics at U of L last fall, a position which speaks volumes about his impact on the university community.
One of Jurich's pet projects is CardsCARE, U of L's community outreach program which promotes student-athlete community involvement. The Cardinals have averaged over 5,000 hours of community service over the past five years. U of L has been recognized by the National Consortium for Academics in Sports each year since 1999 for its Outstanding Outreach and Community Service Program. Within the Louisville community, Jurich serves on the Board of Directors for the American Heart Association, Republic Bank and Jewish Hospital Health Services. He was honored as the 2003 Prevent Blindness Kentucky Person of Vision for his visionary efforts at U of L.
One of Jurich's first steps when he became the Cardinals' athletics director on Oct. 21, 1997 was to strengthen U of L's athletic administration by enlarging the compliance department with the school's first associate athletic director for compliance and adding the school's first female associate athletic director/senior woman administrator.
U of L took a major step in achieving gender equity under his leadership by upgrading funding and support staff for existing women's programs while adding three new sports - softball, golf and rowing, which began competition in the 1999-2000 season. Jurich's efforts also moved field hockey, women's soccer and baseball to fully-funded programs. He received the Citizens for Sports Equity 2000 Sports Leadership Award.
Jurich has also placed U of L on the cutting edge of sports medicine by developing a comprehensive partnership with Louisville's world-renowned Jewish Hospital.
Before joining the U of L program, Guiding Colorado State University for the four years prior to his arrival at U of L in a similar position, Jurich oversaw not only one of the most successful time periods in the school's history in terms of on-field competitiveness, but he was the driving force behind a successful capital campaign drive that included facility renovation.
Prior to his constructive efforts at Colorado State, Jurich operated as director of athletics for four years at Colorado State and for eight years at his alma mater, Northern Arizona University. When appointed at NAU in 1988, he was the youngest director of athletics at the NCAA Division I level at the age of 29.
He and his wife, Terrilynn, a former Miss Wyoming, have four children: sons Mark, a senior outfielder at U of L, and Brian, a junior at U of L; and twin daughters, Haley and Lacey, who are 13.