University of California Los Angeles - Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

CA, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) seeks an experienced, creative, inspiring and entrepreneurial leader with unwavering integrity, a strong work ethic and a commitment to transparency and collaboration with the broadest range of campus stakeholders to serve the institution as its eighth Director of Intercollegiate Athletics.

Situated on 419 acres, five miles from the Pacific Ocean, UCLA is enriched by the cultural diversity of the dynamic greater Los Angeles area, as well as the geographic advantages of Southern California. One of the world’s preeminent public research universities, UCLA is an international leader in breadth and quality of academic, research, health care, wellness, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs, with more than 4,700 faculty members who teach nearly 46,000 students in the College of Letters and Science and 12 professional schools. UCLA is one of ten campuses of the world-class University of California System and is consistently ranked among the top institutions nationally for research funding, having generated more than $1 billion in research grants and contracts annually in six of the past eight years.

As a member of the Pac-12 Conference and one of the premier NCAA Division I (FBS) programs in the country, UCLA’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics has a rich and storied history of academic and athletic success. With nearly 700 student-athletes, the Athletic Department supports 25 men’s and women’s varsity sports. Its record of success in-the-classroom and on-the-field achievements are unmatched among its peers. For the second consecutive year, UCLA Athletics has recorded an all-time high Graduation Success Rate (GSR). The 2019 rate of 92% exceeds the national average of 88% for Division I schools. Six Bruin squads – men’s tennis, women’s basketball, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s rowing and women’s tennis – had a GSR of 100%. Nineteen programs had a GSR of 80% or higher and 13 were at 90% or higher. In addition to its strong academic accomplishments, UCLA athletic programs have a distinguished and elite history of winning. UCLA athletic teams have won 118 NCAA national championships – the second most in the country. Furthermore, UCLA was the first institution to win 100 NCAA team titles. Based on his famed Pyramid of Success, legendary men’s Basketball Coach John Wooden was instrumental in not only contributing 11 NCAA championships to the program but also for establishing a foundation of leadership principles that are embedded in the culture of the department and continue to serve as a guidepost for all 25 varsity programs. Finally, UCLA student-athletes have represented various U.S. Olympic teams, bringing home a combined 261 Olympic medals.

Reporting to the Chancellor, the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics will be expected to lead and manage a team of approximately 300 coaches and staff and support the academic and athletic activities of its student-athletes. The incoming Director will manage and balance a budget of approximately $130 million while creatively identifying and securing new resources that support all 25 men’s and women’s athletic programs. The successful candidate will represent and advocate for the athletic department on campus, within the community and across the nation. The Director should be knowledgeable and current on local, national and industry trends, such as the California Fair Pay for Play Act (NIL reform), post-season expansion, pending NCAA lawsuits, NCAA transfer and compliance issues, and admissions-related topics, especially pertaining to high-profile cases such as Operation Varsity Blues that could significantly impact the future of Bruin athletics and the broader university enterprise. The Director of Intercollegiate Athletics will be expected to develop and implement a department-wide strategic plan that articulates a clear vision and strategy, aligning its goals and objectives to the university’s core values. To this end, the Director will partner and collaborate with campus stakeholders to ensure integrity, streamline operations, increase efficiencies and most importantly, improve the overall student-athlete experience. The Director should lead and manage the department with an unwavering commitment to gender, racial and ethnic diversity, equity and inclusion. Finally, the Director will be expected to engage with alumni, donors, volunteers, fans, industry executives and other external stakeholders to advance the department’s goals and objectives by creating awareness, building relationships and ultimately generating resource support for the department.

UCLA is engaging in a national search for candidates who demonstrate integrity and a deep understanding of and commitment to supporting NCAA Division I student-athletes within a campus committed to both academic and athletic excellence. UCLA student-athletes compete at elite levels while prioritizing academic success and becoming fully immersed into the life of the institution. Qualified candidates must demonstrate a record of administrative and leadership experience and accomplishment within a program at an institution or organization of comparable complexity. Candidates should demonstrate a high value on both academic and athletic success, and be a confident, accountable and transparent, yet humble leader, with strong interpersonal, collaborative and communication skills. The next Director should be skilled at managing a highly complex and visible program within intense media coverage and possess a deep understanding of the role of intercollegiate athletics at a mission-focused, distinctive large research institution. The Director should be experienced in developing strategic plans, managing and successfully balancing a large operating budget, generating resources through fundraising and external partnerships, and knowledgeable about future trends related to fan engagement and the overall fan experience. Perhaps most importantly, the Director will be expected to lead, motivate and inspire athletic department staff, coaches and student athletes, be committed to diversity, equity and inclusion and ensure the department’s vision and strategy is aligned with the goals and objectives of a top tier public research institution.

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WittKieffer is assisting UCLA in this search. All applications and nominations are invited. The position will remain open until filled. Applications should include, as separate documents, a letter of interest addressing the themes in this profile and a CV or resume. References will not be contacted without candidate’s consent. These materials should be sent electronically via email to Jeff Compher, Zach Smith, Ph.D., Kim Brettschneider and Horace Mitchell, Ph.D. at The consultants can be reached through the office of Hillary Hmura at 630-575-6959.

The University of California is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer advancing inclusive excellence. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, protected veteran status, or other protected categories covered by the UC nondiscrimination policy.