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Athletic Director James Jarrett to Retire in 2010

Old Dominion University athletic director James Jarrett announced today that he will retire in June 2010. Jarrett has been the athletic director at Old Dominion for the past 40 years.

Jarrett came to ODU in 1967 as an associate professor of health and physical education and was named athletic director in the spring of 1970, replacing Bud Metheny. Under his leadership, Old Dominion teams have won 28 championships, and maintained a 91 percent exhausted graduation rate.

"There have been many successes for our program over my 40 years, but significant ones for me personally include the graduation rate of our student-athletes, national championships, our overall Division I success and leadership role in women's athletics, the development of our athletic venues and the ODU Sports Hall of Fame, our longstanding rivalry in women's basketball with Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols, and the accomplishments of Beth Anders and our field hockey program," said Jarrett.

Old Dominion was competing on the NCAA Division II level when Jarrett took the reigns in 1970, winning the school's first national crown in 1975 when the men's basketball team defeated New Orleans for the title. The following year the Monarch athletic program made the leap to NCAA Division I status and quickly made a name for itself as a member of the ECAC South Conference.

Jarrett's "selective excellence" philosophy of fielding teams in sports where ODU could be nationally competitive played a huge role in the program's success. The Monarchs athletic program has won the Virginia Sports Information Directors Cup a record 12 times for posting the highest, collective team winning percentage among all of the state's NCAA Division I universities.

"I will have more to say later about the contributions of specific athletic staff and university and community leaders to Monarch athletic success, but it is important to note that many, many people have played a significant role in our success during my tenure," said Jarrett.

Jarrett was a pioneer in intercollegiate women's athletics, becoming one of the first athletic directors in the nation to provide scholarships to female student-athletes in 1974. Of the 28 national team titles ODU has won during his tenure, 18 of those have been achieved by women's teams, with three in women's basketball, nine in field hockey and six in women's sailing. ODU hosted the first NCAA women's basketball Final Four in 1982 and repeated in 1983, in addition to hosting three NCAA field hockey national tournaments and two national sailing championships. The Lady Monarchs led the nation in women's basketball attendance from 1978-1983, and set an NCAA-record 17 straight conference championships streak from 1992-2008. The field hockey program boasted a record six Honda Award winners (national player of the year) during Jarrett's tenure.

ODU's athletic facilities have come a long way from the time when all of the school's sports programs were located in the field house, which opened in Jarrett's first year as athletic director. Today, the university boasts one of the most comprehensive and impressive athletic physical plants in the nation. Under Jarrett's leadership, the Bud Metheny Baseball Complex, sailing center and dock, Folkes-Stevens Indoor Tennis Center, soccer stadium and office complex, Athletic Administration Building and wrestling addition, Powhatan Sports Complex and Lambert's Point Golf Course (home to ODU men's and women's golf) were all added as athletic venues. In addition, two major refurbishments of Foreman Field have been undertaken during Jarrett's tenure, and a new boathouse, home to the women's rowing team, will open in 2010.

Jarrett played a key role in the growth of the Big Blue Club, the fundraising arm of athletics. When he became AD in 1970, the program was raising $5,000 a year and had fewer than 50 members. The Big Blue Club has since grown to more than 1,700 members, contributing more than $4 million annually to athletic scholarships and an additional $22 million toward endowments.

He was a charter member of the NCAA Women's Basketball Committee, serving from 1981-89. He also served as president of the CAA, the Sun Belt Conference and Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, and was instrumental in the creation of the ODU Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. Jarrett has been honored many times throughout the years for his leadership, including being named the NACDA Southeast Regional Athletic Director of the Year, the Man of the Year by the Norfolk Sports Club and the Collegiate Director of the Year by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association. He was recognized in 2007 with a Lifetime Achievement award by NACDA. In 2005, Jarrett received the Distinguished Service Award from VaSID, the Virginia Sports Information Directors' Association. He will be inducted into the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame in October.

"During my 40 years as director of athletics at Old Dominion University, the Board of Visitors and university administrative leaders have provided the support and financial resources needed for us to successfully compete in Division I of the NCAA," Jarrett remarked.

"A quality program requires outstanding facilities, fully funded scholarships and quality, experienced coaches. The selective excellence approach at Old Dominion provided eight sports for men and eight sports for women with fully funded scholarships, quality coaches and tremendous facilities that continue to get better in order to keep up with the competition and changing facility needs," he said.

"The addition of football and crew, and soon to be added softball and volleyball, has and will stretch the selective excellence concept. I challenge our future leaders to meet these needs without reducing current program funding," added Jarrett. "I take great pride in the Monarchs' success and appreciate the contributions that our many alumni and fans, the student body and our Big Blue Club have provided toward winning, graduation and championships."

Jarrett, a native of Decatur, Ill., earned his undergraduate and master's degrees in physical education from Southern Illinois (Carbondale), and a doctorate in higher education from Florida State University. An avid tennis player for many years, he and his wife, Sugie, remain active in the Hampton Roads tennis scene.

"Jim Jarrett is highly respected by Old Dominion University fans and the collegiate athletic community as a whole," ODU President John R. Broderick noted. "His creation and leadership of a well-regarded and successful Division I athletic program at Old Dominion stands as a model for programs across the country.

"His commitment to excellence created nationally competitive teams, provided exciting and fun athletic events for fans, and led to the recruitment of student-athletes who excelled in both the athletic arena and the classroom. Old Dominion boasts a first-class athletic program thanks, in large part, to the tireless efforts of Jim Jarrett."



Hired as associate professor of health and physical education by current athletic director and department chair Bud Metheny


Named athletic director, replacing Bud Metheny, who remains head baseball coach

Field house opens and lst regular season game played with Washington & Lee


Men's basketball loses in NCAA Division II finals to Evansville


Initiates scholarships for female student-athletes


First Donna Doyle scholarship women's basketball game is played to raise funds for women's athletic scholarships

Men's basketball wins ODU's first national championship with 76-74 victory over New Orleans


ODU moves from Division II to NCAA Division I status and becomes member of the ECAC South Conference


Lady Monarchs win the NWIT with 70-60 victory over Texas

December - Lady Monarchs move to No. l in the AP poll and remain there all year


March - Lady Monarchs win first national crown (AIAW) with 76-65 victory over Louisiana Tech; Nancy Lieberman and Marianne Stanley win national player and coach of the year awards, respectively

October - State approves funding to renovate Foreman Field, including adding artificial turf, and build a new baseball stadium

November - Men's basketball team upsets Soviet national team at Scope

Overall program posts best winning percentage in state among Division I schools; ODU teams go on to win the state award in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2006 and 2007

December - Lady Monarchs fall to Soviet national team at Scope and set the largest single-game attendance record in nation for women's basketball with 10,237 fans


ODU Hall of Fame created and inducts first class

Monarchs earn their lst NCAA automatic bid and meet UCLA in tournament

Lady Monarchs win second AIAW national title with 68-53 victory over Tennessee


Named to first NCAA Women's Basketball Committee


March - ODU hosts first NCAA women's basketball national tournament at Scope

June - Women's sailing wins first national ICYRA title

November - Field hockey wins first NCAA title and Yogi Hightower becomes school's first Honda award winner and first African American to win the award


March - Anne Donovan named Naismith National Player of the Year, along with Ralph Sampson of the University of Virginia

ODU hosts second NCAA national championship for women at Scope

April - Bud Metheny Baseball Complex opens

November - Field hockey wins second national title by defeating Connecticut in three overtimes


Field hockey wins third consecutive NCAA crown


March - Women's basketball captures first NCAA and third national title with win over Georgia

November - ODU hosts NCAA field hockey national championships at Foreman Field


November - ODU hosts second consecutive NCAA field hockey national championships

March - Men's basketball wins first NCAA tournament game vs. West Virginia in first-round action in Greensboro


Women's sailing wins second national crown


Sailing wins sloop national title

Named Metropolitan Man of the Year by the Norfolk Sports Club


Sailing repeats as national champions and soccer advances to first NCAA tournament

Field hockey wins fourth NCAA crown


ODU joins the Colonial Athletic Association

ODU Soccer Stadium opens with 3,200 in attendance for a match against William and Mary

Field hockey wins fifth NCAA crown

Sailing wins ICYRA team national title and Terry Hutchinson named national Sailor of the Year


Chris Gatling becomes ODU's first, first-round NBA draft pick Jon Hurst of men's golf competes in school's first NCAA golf championship

Field hockey wins sixth NCAA title


Lady Monarchs win their first of 17 straight CAA women's basketball tournament championships

Field hockey wins seventh NCAA crown

Sailing wins sloop national title for its eighth national championship


Athletics announces its gender equity plan, which includes adding women's soccer and eliminating men's cross country


Sailing wins singlehanded national crown


Lady Monarchs advance to the NCAA Final Four, losing to Tennessee in the championship game; Wendy Larry named national coach of the year


Sailors claim dinghy national crown


Beth Anders wins national coach of the year honors

Ted Constant donates $5 million for the construction of a new basketball arena

Cal Bowdler is selected in the first round of the NBA draft by Atlanta

Sports Illustrated selects ODU as one of the Top 20 best colleges for women's intercollegiate sports


ODU hosts NCAA field hockey national championships and Lady Monarchs claim their ninth national crown; Marina DiGiacomo is named national player of the year and becomes school's Fifth Honda Award winner


Women's tennis competes in first NCAA tournament

Recipient of Women's Basketball Coaches Association Collegiate Director Award


Women's golf is added and women's cross country is dropped in the athletic curriculum

Women's sailing wins national championship

Ted Constant Convocation Center opens in October

Anna Tunnicliffe wins national singlehanded title in sailing


Men's golf qualifies for first NCAA tournament as a team

Named as Southeast Regional Athletic Director of the Year by NACDA


Tunnicliffe becomes first collegiate sailor to win back-to-back singlehanded national title

Justin Verlander selected as second pick in first round of the Major League draft, ODU's highest baseball pick


Tunnicliffe named national sailor of the year

Board of Visitors votes to add football and women's rowing to the athletic lineup, with football starting in 2009 and rowing in 2008


Bobby Wilder hired as the school's first football coach since 1940

Folkes-Stevens Indoor Tennis Center opens with eight indoor and 16 outdoor courts

Soccer offices and locker rooms completed at the stadium

Football season ticket applications made available; more than 2,700 orders placed in first day

Recipient of Lifetime Achievement Award by NACDA


Soccer practice field completed adjacent to the stadium

Powhatan Sports Complex, including two football practice fields and a field hockey/lacrosse stadium seating 1,500, opens

Wrestling addition completed on the Athletic Administration Building, featuring practice area and offices

Women's rowing begins its first competitive season


Foreman Field renovated as ODU fields its first football team since 1940

Induction into Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame in October

This article was posted on: June 24, 2009

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Telephone: 757-683-3114

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.