Carnegie Mellon Press Release: May 19, 2004
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Press Release

Brian Rose

For immediate release:
May 19, 2004

Athletic Director John Harvey Announces His Retirement from Carnegie Mellon

PITTSBURGH—Dr. John Harvey, director of athletics and physical education at Carnegie Mellon University for the past 15 years, has announced his retirement, effective May 21, 2004.

During his tenure Carnegie Mellon's varsity athletics, intramural and physical education programs have improved dramatically. Varsity sports have flourished on the national level as well as in the University Athletic Association (UAA) and East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC). The Tartans have won numerous UAA championships and have been annual participants in NCAA Division III and East Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) post-season play. This past year was highlighted by the football team's 28th consecutive non-losing season; ECAC regional championships for women's soccer and women's volleyball; the men's soccer team's fourth consecutive UAA title and subsequent NCAA tournament berth; the men's swimming and diving team's third-place finish at the NCAA meet, its highest finish in school history; and the men's tennis team's first bid to the NCAA team tournament.

Harvey has overseen continuous growth in the intramurals program and today more than 1,000 students participate in more than 40 sports and activities. The physical education program has shown steady improvement as each year more students elect to take courses in an expanding list of fitness activities and lifetime sports.

"John is very proud of our varsity and intramural athletic programs and of our coaches, administrators and staff who provide exceptional leadership for our students," said William Elliott, vice president for enrollment. "John has always maintained the proper perspective that athletics and academics play an equally important role in the student experience on campus."

Under Harvey's guidance and leadership the university has also vastly improved its athletic facilities with the addition of Gesling Stadium and the University Center and renovations to Skibo Gymnasium. Gesling Stadium, home to the football, men's and women's soccer, and men's and women's track and field teams, opened in 1990. The men's and women's swimming teams and women's volleyball team compete in the University Center, a $47 million multipurpose facility that includes a state-of-the-art 25-meter lap pool and diving well. The center also features a gymnasium, racquetball and squash courts, and fitness and recreation center that is used by the entire university community.

Harvey says one of his proudest accomplishments at Carnegie Mellon is the overall expansion of the women's athletic program, specifically the establishment of a varsity soccer team for women.

"By working with (Associate Director of Athletics) Joan Maser, we've been able to achieve a high degree of gender equity here at Carnegie Mellon," said Harvey. "It is not easy, with the male population being over 60 percent. However, we've not only been able to offer female student-athletes equal opportunities but also fielded highly competitive teams, as evidenced by our women's soccer and volleyball teams winning ECAC Championships in the fall."

Harvey has also worked to grant full-time status to all head coaching positions and to increase staff, including a second full-time athletic trainer. He was instrumental in reviving the annual athletic banquet for student-athletes and collaborated with the university's Alumni Association to create an annual award that honors the male and female student-athlete who have achieved the highest grade-point average while earning four varsity letters during their collegiate career.

Harvey says working with the coaching and admission staffs to recruit high-quality student-athletes will be something he misses the most. "Since I've been here, the coaching and admission staffs have worked very well together," said Harvey. "As selective as Carnegie Mellon is, it can be very difficult to recruit top-quality student-athletes but we've been able to go out and find not only good athletes, but more importantly, good people.

"A large part of that success can be traced to our coaches, who have been here long enough to understand what kind of people can succeed here and have been able to continually recruit those types of student-athletes," said Harvey. "With 12 of our 14 coaches having been here for six years or more, they have the experience that brings stability and continuity to their programs, which can be very important for the benefit of the student-athletes."

Along with his duties at Carnegie Mellon, Harvey has been very active in the NCAA since 1992. He was the Division III Vice President and chair of the Governance Committee, which reorganized the NCAA, and was on the National NCAA Committee for Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct. He founded the Collegiate Sports Foundation "to support noteworthy endeavors for student-athletes and coaches in Division III athletics."

A native of Akron, Ohio, Harvey earned his bachelor's degree in philosophy and master's degree in education and history from William & Mary College. He went on to earn his Ph.D. in administration in higher education from Boston College. "Being a graduate from a liberal arts school, I have a sense of wanting to encounter more," said Harvey. "I'm still in very good health and have a lot of energy, and over the past six months or so, I just felt this would be a good time to move ahead to another series of experiences in my life." Carnegie Mellon will conduct a national search for Harvey's successor.


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