PROVIDENCE — Brown University’s director of athletics, Jack Hayes, a champion of inspiring student athletes to do well on the field and in the classroom, announced Friday that he is stepping down after nearly a decade.
The department will appoint deputy director Colin A. Sullivan to take over while the university conducts a national search for a new director, according to a news release.
On March 1, Hayes will become a senior advisor to Bruin Sports Capital, an investment and operating company that specializes in building global sports, media, entertainment and technologies companies. His last day at Brown is expected to be Feb. 5, according to university spokesman Brian Clark.
Under his leadership, Brown University sports has seen Ivy League championships and record-setting seasons. In 2016, the men’s lacrosse team went to the Final Four and women’s soccer won an Ivy League championship in double-overtime against the University of Pennsylvania in 2019.
In the 2015-2016 season, the Bears defeated teams ranked No. 1 in women’s crew, men’s hockey, and men’s lacrosse; the lacrosse team beat the Navy and went on to the NCAA Championship Final Four).
Hayes later recalled having 11,700 fans in Brown stadium as the lacrosse game was televised on ESPN. Brown called it “a season for the ages.”
But while overseeing 34 Division I varsity teams, more than 150 coaches and staff, and hundreds of student-athletes, Hayes was committed to developing a strategic plan for athletics, helping to launch the “Excellence in Brown Athletics Initiative” in 2019. The plan was to reshape the program, giving Brown’s teams a competitive edge and to provide equal opportunities in athletics for women and men. The plan was announced shortly before the university ended a two-decades old legal battle over women in sports in September 2020.
“[Hayes] truly embraces the ideal of the scholar-athlete,” said Brown University President Christina H. Paxson in a statement Friday. “Brown Athletics under his leadership has embodied a commitment to cultivating a climate where athletic completion and academic achievement form the core of the student-athlete experience to promote real personal growth and leadership.”
Hayes helped create the baseball and softball complex, and led a fundraising campaign that would eventually help construct the new Center for Lacrosse and Soccer, which was completed in the spring of last year. He also led an initiative to renovate the university’s interior football suite with new locker rooms, offices and meeting spaces, a state-of-the-art medical center for all varsity athletes.
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