Jeff Hathaway, director of athletics at the University of Connecticut, has been appointed chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2011-12 academic year.
Hathaway’s term as chair will begin in September 2011. He is beginning his fourth year on the panel this year. Hathaway will succeed Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith, who will chair the committee for the 2010-11 season.
Hathaway just completed his seventh year as director of athletics at UConn, after being executive associate director of athletics at the school from 1990 to 2001. Before returning to lead the Huskies’ athletics program, he was director of athletics at Colorado State from 2001 to 2003.
He is only the fourth individual from the Big East Conference to serve on the Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, joining former commissioners Dave Gavitt and Mike Tranghese and former Syracuse AD Jake Crouthamel. Hathaway is a member of the Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association board of trustees and sits on the executive committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
“I am both honored and humbled to be appointed to this position, knowing that so many outstanding leaders have established the highest standard of commitment to this tournament and the continued growth of college basketball,” says Hathaway.
He is serving on the committee during dynamic times that include implementation of a new $10.8 billion television agreement with Turner Sports and CBS, and the expansion of the championship to 68 teams.
“I look forward to assisting Gene Smith and my dedicated colleagues with the implementation of the Turner/CBS television contract and the `First Four’ during the upcoming year, while enhancing the experiences of the student-athletes and others who participate in this great event,” Hathaway says.
Among significant events that have occurred during Hathaway’s time as director of athletics at UConn are the school becoming the first to win the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships in the same year (2004), and the football team winning its first bowl game in 2004, just two years after becoming a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision.
NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt notes that Hathaway will enter the position of chair with a background in basketball that dates back to his high school days, when he was a team manager for DeMatha High School under legendary coach and Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame member Morgan Wootten.
NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen calls Hathaway “a leader who understands a variety of perspectives of the game.”
“His contributions to the committee have already been significant, and his role over the next two years will be essential during this important time,” Shaheen says.
Before his first stint at Connecticut, Hathaway served in a number of capacities at his alma mater, the University of Maryland, from 1982 to 1990, including assistant athletics director for marketing and promotions, acting assistant athletics director for business affairs, athletics business manager, and men’s basketball athletic trainer. Hathaway, 51, earned a B.S. in athletic administration from the University of Maryland in 1981. He later received a master’s in general administration (1991) from Maryland, and is currently working on a Ph.D. in educational leadership at Connecticut.
Smith and Hathaway will be joined on the committee this year by Stan Morrison, director of athletics at UC Riverside; Lynn Hickey, director of athletics at Texas-San Antonio; Mike Bobinski, director of athletics at Xavier; Dan Beebe, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference; Doug Fullerton, commissioner of the Big Sky Conference; Ron Wellman, director of athletics at Wake Forest; Scott Barnes, director of athletics at Utah State; and Steve Orsini, director of athletics at Southern Methodist University.