April 12, 2004

UCLA's Stephenson named new athletics director         

By John Arenberg

Betsy Stephenson, associate athletics director (AD) at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has been appointed Emory's new director of athletics and recreation, effective June 1.

Stephenson has been at UCLA since 1996 in her current position as associate AD and senior women's administrator. In that time period, UCLA has won 15 NCAA Division I national championships: men's soccer (1997, 2002), men's volleyball (1998, 2000), men's water polo (1999), women's gymnastics (1997, 2000, 2001, 2003), women's softball (1999, 2003), women's indoor track (2000), women's outdoor track (2001), and women's water polo (2001, 2003).

From 1992-96, Stephenson served as associate athletics director and senior women's administrator at the University of Kansas. There she supervised 12 head coaches, as well as the marketing, equipment and strength/conditioning operations. Stephenson is a 1983 graduate of Kansas, where she completed her undergraduate studies in personnel administration. She played one year on the school's volleyball team.

"Betsy Stephenson is a tremendous fit for our exemplary scholar athletes and dedicated coaching staff," said John Ford, senior vice president of Campus Life. "I'm confident she will provide strong leadership for Emory's athletics and recreation programs which have been a national model for the successful integration of athletics and academics."

"I am thrilled to be selected to lead Emory's athletics and recreation program," Stephenson said. "The national academic and athletic success of its program is exemplary and of a caliber with which I am honored to be associated."

At Emory, Stephenson will oversee 18 varsity sports, as well as the recreational services program (intramurals, club sports, recreational activities). As an NCAA Div. III school, Emory offers academic scholarships and need-based financial aid, but does not award athletic scholarships.

In five of the last eight years, Emory has finished in the top 10 nationally in the NACDA Directors' Cup standings for best all-around athletics program in Div. III, including a No. 2 ranking in 2002-03.

"To me, Betsy is a perfect fit for Emory because she understands the academic excellence that we strive for," said Jennifer McDowell, Emory interim athletics director and head volleyball coach. "She is committed to making our athletics and recreation program the best it can be. We're excited because we feel we got one of the great leaders in college athletics, the best of the best. We want to take the athletics program to a higher level because that's what Emory expects and deserves."