Georgetown University named Bernard Muir director of athletics yesterday, ending a year-long search by hiring a man who has both a basketball background and experience working at a strong academic institution.
Muir, who is scheduled to start at Georgetown on July 1, has spent the past five years at the University of Notre Dame, most recently as the deputy director of athletics for administration and facilities. At 36, he is the youngest athletic director in the Big East, and is also one of only two African-American athletic directors in the conference. He fills a vacancy created when Joseph Lang retired in June 2004.
"It's a top-25 institution across the board, the Catholic background, the Catholic identity, the opportunity to have such balance between athletics and academics -- all are similar to what I've been involved with for many years now," Muir said in a telephone interview. "Certainly something that excites me is to have that opportunity now to work alongside some of the best and brightest."
At Notre Dame, Muir's duties included overseeing campus athletic facilities, game management operations, and issues relating to student-athlete recruitment and academic performance. He worked for the NCAA for eight years prior to moving to South Bend.
While with the NCAA, Muir served as the director of the Division I men's basketball championship. He was a four-year letter winner and co-captain of the basketball team at Brown University, and he played against Hoyas basketball coach John Thompson III, who starred at Princeton and was two years ahead of Muir. "I probably sat the bench most of the time when he played," Muir said with a laugh. "I did come up against him certainly with no success."
"I understand [men's basketball is] the flagship program, I understand it's part of the emotional fabric that drives the university," said Muir, who graduated from Brown in 1990 with a degree in organizational behavior and management. "Being a former student-athlete, I think this is a great opportunity to be a part of something great and work with Coach Thompson and many of our other coaches to make it the best opportunity for our student-athletes."
"Bernard is a dynamic individual who will provide strong leadership to Georgetown's athletics programs and ensure our ability to recruit and retain first-rate coaches and student athletes who maintain the University's tradition of academic and athletic success," Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia said in a statement.
Muir's hiring follows a national search that involved university board members, faculty, coaches, alumni, and administrative leaders, DeGioia wrote in an e-mail sent to members of the university community.
Adam Brick served as interim director of athletics during the past year, but no announcement was made regarding his status, and Brick declined to comment when reached by telephone. Prior to being named to the position on an interim basis, he was the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Legal Affairs.
"He ensured that this past academic year was a successful one for student-athletes, coaches and staff," DeGioia wrote of Brick, who has worked in the athletic department since graduating from the Georgetown School of Business in 1986. "Adam has long been an invaluable member of the University community and his commitment to excellence at Georgetown has made enduring differences here."