September 16, 1999
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -
University of Louisville Director of Athletics Tom Jurich has been named to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Management Council, one of the chief legislative committees of the NCAA.
"I'm honored by the appointment to this prestigious committee," said Jurich, who has guided the Cardinals' athletic department less than two years. "Aside from the personal honor of representing our league and U of L, I think this speaks volumes about the positive direction we are progressing as an institution. I look forward to being at the forefront of the NCAA's legislative process."
The 49-member Management Council, composed of athletic administrators and faculty athletic representatives, is the first legislative body that considers all new NCAA legislative proposals. With representatives from each Division I conference, the council adopts operating bylaws and rules that govern Division I, subject to Board of Directors ratification.
Appointed to a four-year term, Jurich joins Conference USA Commissioner Mike Slive and Cincinnati Faculty Athletic Representative Nancy Hamant as C-USA representatives on the council, which was created in 1997. The group meets quarterly, with the next meeting scheduled for Oct. 18-19 in Atlanta.
"I look forward to working with Tom on the NCAA Management Council and the opportunity we have to make a contribution to intercollegiate athletics," said Slive.
In just two short years, Jurich has guided a whirlwind of accomplishments that have caught the eye of those who follow collegiate athletics across the nation.
Jurich signed an unprecedented 13-year contract in March, just 18 months after he was named Director of Athletics for the Cardinals on Oct. 21, 1997.
"Tom has brought energy, vision and a high degree of creativity and professionalism to U of L athletics," said U of L President Dr. John Shumaker. "I have been especially impressed with his total commitment to quality and competitiveness and his focus on creating a pervasive culture of compliance with NCAA policies and regulations. His leadership has also been critical to our success in expanding opportunities for women in our athletics program."
Jurich continues to push U of L to the forefront of college athletics as it prepares for the new millennium. A strong advocate of Conference USA, Jurich has turned heads while quickly guiding major changes in the face of Cardinal Athletics including:
- Taking a major step in achieving gender equity, upgrading funding and support staff for existing women's programs while adding three new sports -- softball, golf and rowing, which begin competition in the 1999-2000 season.
- Addressing multiple facility needs, including an extensive sports park -- the first components of which will be completed in February --- to serve as a front lawn for the University. Cardinal Park will feature a softball stadium, soccer field surrounded by a state-of-the-art track, natatorium, fitness trail and playground. A field house is also planned.
- Attracting second-year coach John L. Smith to guide the Cardinals' football fortunes in a year when U of L opened Papa John's Cardinal Stadium, a 42,000-seat, state-of-the-art, on-campus football facility.
- Strengthening 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.
- Placing U of L on the cutting edge of sports medicine by developing a comprehensive partnership with Jewish Hospital in Louisville.
- Bolstering the community outreach arm of U of L athletics, developing CardsCare. The Community Action Response Effort promotes student-athlete community involvement.
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. It is a formula that has provided a trail of success in each situation Jurich has touched.
Guiding Colorado State University for the four years prior to his arrival at U of L in a similar position, Jurich oversaw not only the most successful time period 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.
Jurich has been active in the scope of college athletics on a national level, within Conference USA, and in his local community. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of the College Football Association and on the Board of Directors of the Institute for Women at CSU.
Prior to his constructive efforts at Colorado State, Jurich operated as director of athletics for eight years at his alma mater, Northern Arizona University. When appointed at NAU, he was the youngest director of athletics at the NCAA Division I level at the age of 29.
He became athletic director at Northern Arizona in 1988, after previously serving as co-director from 1986-88 and assistant director from 1984-86. He was inducted to the NAU Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.
Jurich is among the finest football players in Northern Arizona history. A punter and placekicker for the Lumberjacks, Jurich earned first-team Kodak All-America honors in 1977 -- the first collegiate kicker to make the Kodak honor list -- and also received All-America acclaim from The Sporting News. He is the only kicker in Big Sky Conference history to be named the league's offensive player of the year (1977).
A 10th-round NFL draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jurich later played with the Minnesota Vikings before a brief coaching stint at the University of Minnesota.