April 13, 2011 (updated June 18, 2011)
CLEVELAND (NACDA.com) - The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced today that Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Commissioner John D. Swofford, former director of athletics at the University of North Carolina, has been selected by the NACDA Officers and Executive Committee to be the recipient of the 45th James J. Corbett Memorial Award.
The Corbett Award is presented annually to the collegiate administrator who "through the years has most typified Corbett's devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment." Corbett, athletics director at Louisiana State University, was NACDA's first president in 1965. The award is the highest honor one can achieve in collegiate athletics administration.
Additionally, Swofford will receive an honorary degree from the Sports Management Institute (SMI), an educational institute sponsored by NACDA and the universities of Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Southern California and Texas.
"Receiving the Corbett Award is truly one of the highlights of my career because NACDA has meant a great deal to me since I attended my first Convention in 1976, and when I look at the previous recipients, it is humbling to join them," said Swofford. "None of us have success without the help and support of others, and I have been fortunate to have that support from family and colleagues throughout my career. I am sure there are many that have received this award that were more deserving. I can assure you that there have been none that were more appreciative."
Swofford, in his 14th year as commissioner of the ACC, served as president of NACDA in 1993-94, while director of athletics at North Carolina. He assumed his role as the fourth full-time commissioner in July 1997. In July 2010, Swofford's leadership helped the conference secure a new 12-year multi-media rights agreement with ESPN, which will more than double television revenue to the 12 member institutions.
In 2003, on behalf of the nine league institutions and the ACC Council of Presidents, Swofford introduced Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College as the newest members of the conference. With the expansion, Swofford helped bring the conference extended and enhanced television contracts in both football and basketball.
During his career, Swofford has been an advocate of academics and student-athlete welfare, and helped the league form the ACC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. When he was hired at North Carolina in May 1980 at the age of 31, Swofford was the youngest major college athletics director in the nation at the time. He initiated North Carolina's trademark licensing program and saw tremendous growth in athletics facilities on campus. His accomplishments were recognized by the university with the establishment of the John D. Swofford women's athletics scholarship and the naming of an auditorium in the university's football complex in his honor.
About NACDA: NACDA, now in its 46th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 6,500 college athletics administrators at more than 1,600 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. More than 2,300 athletics administrators annually attend the NACDA Convention presented by Fox Sports. Additionally, NACDA administers 11 professional associations for the separate business units that report directly to the athletics directors and two foundations. For more information on NACDA and its affiliate association's, please visit www.nacda.com.