USF begins search to replace AD Doug Woolard
The decade-long tenure of USF athletic director Doug Woolard, widely acclaimed and vilified at various intervals, is ending.
The school confirmed Thursday evening that Woolard will retire when his current contract expires in June 2015. According to a statement released by the school, he'll continue work on several projects and assist with the transition to new leadership.
How long he remains as acting athletic director depends on the time frame of hiring his replacement, USF spokesman Brian Siegrist said. A national search for a new AD will start immediately.
"I have been truly blessed to enjoy a 40-year career in education and athletics," Woolard said in a statement released by the school.
"After (wife) Cherrie and I spent some great quality time with our family over the holidays, I have been visiting with the president (Judy Genshaft) for the last few weeks about initiating this plan."
Woolard, hired from Saint Louis University in May 2004, signed a contract extension in the summer of '12. It arrived on the heels of the Bulls softball team reaching the College World Series and the men's basketball team earning an NCAA Tournament berth.
But public heat has intensified on him since.
The football team has managed five total victories in the ensuing two seasons, and Stan Heath's basketball team followed its breakthrough season with 12 victories last winter.
"Doug has led USF athletics with integrity and focus, as well as a deep commitment to our students, coaches and the entire USF community," Genshaft said.
"He was instrumental in transforming our athletic district facilities and I want to thank Doug for his achievements in leading our program over these years. We're very appreciative of his efforts on campus and his participation in the larger Tampa Bay community. We look forward to a bright future ahead."