TAMPA — USF president Judy Genshaft was honored at the chance to simply serve on the NCAA board of directors a year ago, so the news of being unanimously elected to chair that board is off-the-charts amazing, for herself and for USF.
"This is going to be a very exciting year," said Genshaft, 62, home in Tampa after arriving from Brazil earlier Tuesday. "It's a privilege for me personally, and I'm really quite honored by the opportunity to work with a very elite group of presidents."
Genshaft was in Brazil with athletic director Doug Woolard to see the USF men's basketball team represent the United States in the Pan American University Championships, then spent time with her family on vacation in Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. Her election to lead the 18-member board has been praised by Big East commissioner John Marinatto, and she said she looks forward to working with new NCAA president Mark Emmert, whom she has known from his days as a university president at Washington and elsewhere.
"I think this is huge, because it's a great opportunity for the University of South Florida," she said. "It's another huge national position, and I'm very happy to represent USF there. I wear my USF pin, and I'm always branding in my green and gold."
Woolard said Genshaft's new position is of enormous benefit to USF, in its exposure and in having a voice in such an influential position nationally.
"From an athletics standpoint, we cannot overstate the magnitude of this honor," he said. "This is a personal and professional accomplishment for the president and a point of pride for the entire USF community. What a statement on the growth of the USF brand, both academically and athletically, that our leader will represent the Bulls at the highest level of NCAA governance."