Release of athletics review report delayed

Robert Chernak said a final report on GW Athletics will likely be released in October. File Photo.

The University is pushing back the release date for its comprehensive athletic review report, a senior administrator said Tuesday.

Senior Vice Provost and Senior Vice President for Student Academic Support Services Robert Chernak said the level of turnover in the department prompted the possible three months delay in the report’s release. The report, initially scheduled to be released mid-summer, will outline a new plan and direction for GW Athletics after a months-long comprehensive review of varsity, intramural and club sports.

“We have a lot of new people on board,” Chernak said. “We have pushed back the date of deliverables probably until later this fall, maybe sometime around October or early November.”

Director of Athletics Patrick Nero took office July 1. File Photo

The Department of Athletics did see both expected and unexpected staff changes this summer. After 17 years as the head of the athletic department for GW, Jack Kvancz retired at the end of June; Patrick Nero stepped into the top role the next day; in a highly unexpected move, GW fired 10-season men’s basketball head coach Karl Hobbs and replaced him with University of Vermont head coach Mike Lonergan; Christopher Boyer joined the Colonials staff as the the deputy director of athletics for external relations; Tamika Louis and Kristin Cole joined the women’s basketball team as assistant coaches after the departure of Katie Rokus and Kristeena Alexander from the program; cross country coach Brian Bell unexpectedly left to head up the cross country program at Flager College in Florida; the associate athletic director for development retired after 13 years with the department of athletics;  Maurice Joseph, a 2010 graduate of the University of Vermont, joined the men’s basketball staff as the assistant director of basketball operations along with Pete Strickland and Kevin Sutton who signed on as assistant coaches and Hajj Turner will be the associate head coach; Ryan Freeburg was hired as assistant coach for the volleyball program by recently hired head coach Amanda Ault.

The initial and nonpublic review, complied from input from seven subcommitties, public forums, a coaches’ roundtable, the Club Sports Council and the Student Athlete Advisory Council, was compiled in June. It is now in the hand of the executive committee, which is in the process of constructing a final draft of the strategic plan.

Some of the review’s suggested changes are already underway, including a plan to replace the artificial turf on the Mount Vernon Campus athletic field, home to the men’s and women’s soccer teams and the women’s lacrosse team. Originally built in 2001, the turf project needed to be completed before the fall semester.

“We didn’t have the luxury of time to deliberate on that,” Chernak said last month. “It was time to replace the artificial turf, so that project will start sometime this summer and hopefully will be complete in time for the start of the soccer season for the fall.”

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