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Dave Hart, Jr. Selected as NACDA's 42nd Corbett Award Winner

March 11, 2008

Cleveland, OH - The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced today that Dave Hart, Jr., former director of athletics at Florida State University (FSU) and East Carolina University (ECU), has been selected by the NACDA Officers and Executive Committee to be the recipient of the 42nd James J. Corbett Memorial Award.

The Corbett Award is presented annually to the collegiate administrator who "through the years has most typified Corbett's devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment." Corbett, athletics director at Louisiana State University, was NACDA's first president in 1965. The award is the highest honor one can achieve in collegiate athletics administration.

Additionally, Hart will receive an honorary degree from the Sports Management Institute (SMI), an educational institute sponsored by NACDA and the universities of Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Southern California and Texas.

Hart served on NACDA's Executive Committee from 1994-97 and moved into the 3rd VP spot in 1997. During the 1999-2000 year, he served as NACDA's President while at Florida State.

Hart led the Seminole athletics department to its best finish in the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup Standings in 2006-07, finishing in the top-15 for the first-time since its inception after finishing 17th overall the previous year. He was also a two-time recipient of the AstroTurf Southeast Region Athletics Director of the Year award.

"I am both honored and humbled to have been selected as the recipient of the James J. Corbett Award," stated Hart. "I fully appreciate the significance of this recognition within the profession of collegiate athletics administration. To be chosen by peers for such a distinguished honor is something I will truly cherish. I've been blessed to have worked at outstanding universities with wonderful staffs, coaches, student-athletes, faculties and fan bases. This award is really a reflection of their collective efforts."

 

 

While at Florida State, Hart oversaw an athletics department budget that more than doubled along with revenues, with a high percentage of that increase going towards the growth and development of women's athletics. In addition to being a strong advocate for women's athletics, Hart has also been a leader nationally regarding diversity within college athletics. Hart's first administrative hire was an African-American. A short time later, he hired Florida State's first African-American head basketball coach. At that time, there were no black head basketball coaches in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Currently, seven of the 12 ACC head coaches are African-American. Last summer, Hart accompanied five athletics directors to Indianapolis to attend a meeting, coordinated by the 1A Athletic Directors' Association Executive Director Dutch Baughman, for the purpose of discussing diversity concerns related to college football head coach searches. The group met with NCAA President Myles Brand and members of his staff, along with representatives of various professional leagues to discuss strategies and a direction for the future.

Throughout his career, Hart has held prominent positions within conference and national circles, having served as President of both NACDA and the Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association. He was also Vice Chairman of the NCAA Football Board of Directors, where he represented NACDA and served with commissioners of I-A conferences. Hart was also one of 11 athletics directors nationally who served as an advisory group to presidents and conference commissioners in discussions regarding the BCS format options and postseason football.

Hart was directly involved in the renegotiation of the Atlantic Coast Conference's (ACC) football and basketball television contracts, which are considered among the nation's best. He played an instrumental role in the ACC expansion process which resulted in the addition of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College.

At Florida State, Hart generated lucrative revenue through the negotiation of contracts with multi-media rights holders, sports apparel companies and regional television partners. He also developed and led the implementation of a comprehensive 10 year Facilities Master Plan. He then took a leadership role in conjunction with the Seminole Boosters, in the first major capital campaign for athletics which raised over $75 million toward new and renovated athletics facilities. Today, after more than a $120 million investment, FSU's facilities are state of the art and among the very best in collegiate athletics. Hart was a catalyst in Seminole Boosters second major campaign, which is ongoing, to endow athletics scholarships for all sports at FSU.

Under his direction, a multi-faceted Student Development/Life Skills program for all student-athletes at FSU was established as a departmental priority and became a model nationally. Hart also formalized a varsity club to encourage participation of former student-athletes in athletics department activities. During his tenure, Florida State athletics was home to the inaugural National Student-Athlete of the Year, a State of Florida Woman of the Year recipient and a Rhodes Scholar.

Prior to his tenure at Florida State, Hart spent 12 years at East Carolina, eight as director of athletics. Hart is credited with leading the ECU program to heights thought previously unattainable in areas such as fund raising, marketing, television exposure, facility enhancement, student-athlete welfare, gender equity and competitive success.

Hart is currently serving as an advisor to the ACC and Commissioner John Swofford.

For a complete listing of past Corbett Award Winners, click here.