Tampa - University of South Florida System President Judy Genshaft and Athletic Director Doug Woolard announce his intent to retire at the end of his contract in June 2015.
He will fulfill his current contract and complete several strategically important development projects, as well as assist in a succession plan and in the transition of a new director of athletics. A national search for a new athletic director will begin immediately.
Woolard was named to his current position in May 2004 and in his tenure at USF he has led a number of initiatives and accomplishments that allowed the Bulls' athletics programs to gain national recognition, as well as play a leading role in the American Athletic Conference and previously the Big East.
Woolard is currently the chair of the American Athletic Conference Athletic Directors, a member of the NCAA Leadership Council and is on the Division I Athletic Directors Board of Directors.
"I have been truly blessed to enjoy a 40-year career in education and athletics. After Cherrie and I spent some great quality time with our family over the holidays, I have been visiting with the President for the last few weeks about initiating this plan," Woolard said. "I appreciate the special partnership I've enjoyed with President Genshaft and I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of the outstanding coaches, members of our administrative staff, generous donors, and most importantly, our wonderful student athletes. Cherrie and I will treasure our time at USF; we are Bulls for life!"
During his tenure, USF's student athletes reached new heights in academic achievement and the university's athletics district was transformed with nearly $70 million in new or renovated facilities, including a $35.6 million renovation of the USF Sun Dome.
USF athletics also produced substantial revenue growth that allowed the department to more than double its budget to $44 million.
The new campus athletics district, completed in 2012, ranks among the nation's most expansive facilities enhancements in the last 25 years.
The project completed without use of university or state funds, included new football and basketball practice facilities; baseball, softball and soccer stadiums; a wellness and nutrition dining center and renovations to the USF Sun Dome, as well as current tennis and golf facilities.
USF also has been recognized as a national leader in innovation and educational excellence by computer giant's Apple for USF's use of technology to improve the academic experience and achievement of student athletes.
Under Woolard, USF saw its overall athletics NCAA's Academic Progress Rate improve from 926 to 983 and both the men's basketball and football programs made major gains.
USF's overall APR has improved each of the last seven years and the football team's APR ranked among the Top 25 of BCS conference schools in 2013.
Woolard also oversaw revenue increases that saw the athletics budget more than double during his tenure, expanded television and radio coverage of the program and initiated a unique educational partnership with Apple, Inc. allowing student-athletes access to a Macbook Pro computer each semester.
Additionally, Woolard has been engaged in involving USF with the Tampa Bay community to host numerous NCAA and Conference Championships, as well as assisting in positioning the Tampa Bay region for major college athletic championships including the Frozen Four and the 2017 college football championship.
President Genshaft thanked Woolard for his assistance in the upcoming transition.
"Doug has led USF Athletics with integrity and focus, as well as a deep commitment to our students, coaches and the entire USF community," said President Genshaft. "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."