Davidson College Director of Athletics Jim Murphy '78 will move into a new role that caps nearly a quarter-century of athletics successes and helps the college move into a new era of business operations.
Starting July 1, Murphy will hold the title director of athletics emeritus and serve as senior adviser to the president for finance and operations. His advisory role will help guide Davidson's operations at this crucial time of change nationally, as higher education confronts new challenges, and locally, as Ed Kania, longstanding vice president for finance and administration, departs for Rollins College. Murphy, a licensed CPA, holds a master of science degree in management from Georgia Tech. He will lend expertise and advice gleaned from more than two decades at Davidson, where he has overseen major changes in the college's athletics program while always honoring the traditions that distinguish this special college.
He will continue to serve as athletics director through June. A search for a new athletics director will be conducted.
"Jim's counsel will be invaluable as Davidson aims to meet the challenges of a constantly reshaping economy so that we can fulfill our purpose now and into the future," said Davidson College President Carol E. Quillen. "I appreciate his willingness to take on this new mission and to add to an already impressive record of accomplishments."
The timing is right, Murphy said.
"This is a terrific opportunity to continue helping Davidson after seeing the college reach so many new heights," he said. "I am proud of all we have done and eager to continue moving Davidson forward in new ways."
Each aspect of athletics at Davidson reflects Murphy's leadership. The Carol Grotnes Belk Turf Field for field hockey, the Alumni Stadium for soccer, Wilson Baseball Park and practice facility, the football stadium expansion project, the relocation of the outdoor tennis courts, and the Harry L. Vance Athletic Center, including the Cheryle Williamson Center for Dance, have all come during his tenure. Davidson teams won 25 regular season titles and 32 tournament championships with Murphy at the helm of the athletics programs. He oversaw Davidson's recent move to the Atlantic-10 Conference, where Davidson athletes have met with success in swimming, tennis, and track and field. The men's basketball team won the regular season A-10 title and earned its first-ever at-large NCAA Tournament bid. Last year, Davidson's baseball team won the A-10 conference and entered the NCAA tournament for the first time in its 115-year history, reaching the NCAA superregional tournament last summer.
Most importantly, Murphy has ensured that Davidson's Division I athletics program serves the long-term aspirations of the college's scholar-athletes and furthers Davidson's holistic educational mission.
"Davidson Athletics has grown stronger through Jim's deep commitment to our primary purpose and values," Quillen said. "Davidson is headed toward an exciting future, and I look forward to working with Jim, as he helps us get there."