Sweet Selected as Recipient of the 40th Corbett Award|
May 2, 2006
Cleveland, Ohio - Judy Sweet, senior vice president for championships and education services and senior woman administrator at the NCAA, has been chosen by the Officers and Executive Committee of NACDA to be the recipient of the 40th 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, Sweet will receive an honorary degree from the Sports Management Institute (SMI), an educational institute sponsored by NACDA and the universities of Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Southern California and Texas.
Judy Sweet joined the NCAA as vice president for championships and senior woman administrator in January 2001. Two years later, she was promoted to senior vice president for championships and education services.
Prior to her work with the NCAA, Sweet was the director of athletics at the University of California San Diego for 24 years, beginning in 1975. She became one of the first women in the nation to direct a combined men and women's intercollegiate athletics program. In 1999, she returned to a faculty position in Social Sciences at UC San Diego.
During her tenure as AD, the UCSD athletics program included 23 varsity teams. From 1981 to 1999, they won 26 NCAA championships, were finalists 32 times and placed third 28 times. UCSD also won the Sears Directors' Cup in 1998.
Sweet was elected to a two-year term as president of the NCAA in January 1991, after serving as secretary/treasurer for the NCAA from 1989 to 1991, becoming the first woman to serve in each of those positions. She was also the Division III vice president from 1986 to 1988. Sweet's presidential responsibilities included presiding over the NCAA Administrative Committee, Council and Executive Committee, and at the NCAA convention. She also chaired the NCAA Budget Committee and the Special Advisory Committee to review recommendations regarding distribution of revenues.
Sweet served on NACDA's Executive Committee from 1987-91 and has served on NACDA's Director' Cup Committee since 1996. She was also involved with many other NCAA committees, including the Subcommittee to Review Minority Opportunities in Intercollegiate Athletics, NCAA Foundation, Gender Equity Task Force and the 1987 Selection Committee for the NCAA Executive Director. Additionally, she served on the United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees, where she received an honorary doctorate in 1992; NACWAA Board of Directors, where she served as the 2000-01 president and was named their Administrator of the Year in 1992 and District Administrator of the Year in 1991. She was also on the United States Olympic Committee Task Force on Minorities and Board of Trustees for National University.
During Sweet's 35-plus year career in athletics, she has been honored with more than 40 awards, including the 1998-99 NACDA/Continental Airlines Division III Athletics Director of the Year. She received the Honda Award for Outstanding Achievement in Women's Athletics in 1998; the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Wisconsin in 1996; was a Big Ten Conference Centennial honoree in 1995; and the named the 39th District Woman of the Year by the California State Senate in 1993.
Sweet was also the San Diego Press Club Sports Administration Headliner of the Year in 1991; and was named the Los Angeles Times Top Southern California College Sports Executive of the 80s; and San Diego Magazine's 86 San Diegans to Watch in '86. She has also been recognized in several editions of Who's Who.
A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sweet graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1969 where she majored in physical education and mathematics. She served as president of the Women's Recreation Association and national president of the Athletic and Recreation Federation of College Women. She received a Master's of Science in Education degree in 1972 from the University of Arizona, Tucson and a Master's in Business Administration degree from National University in 1981. Sweet began her career as a teacher and coach at Newcomb College/Tulane University, before moving to the University of Arizona and Kearny High School.
On receiving word of her award, Sweet said, "It is difficult to articulate how truly honored and humbled I am to be selected to receive the James J. Corbett Memorial Award. I have had the good fortune to work with many of the previous award winners, whom I greatly respect. I have benefited from the lessons they taught me and the leadership examples they set. To be in their company and to be recognized in such a special way by my peers is an overwhelming honor.
"This recognition speaks to the many quality people that I have had the privilege to meet during my career, especially those who opened doors for me and encouraged me to take the risk of passing through those doors that previously had not been open to women. The journey began with my undergraduate days at the University of Wisconsin, where athletics opportunities for women were sparse but student leadership opportunities were available to those who wanted to be involved and make a difference. My professional stops at Tulane University (how great to be returning to New Orleans), University of Arizona and, ultimately UC San Diego allowed for continued learning, growth, and additional opportunities to make a difference. I feel so fortunate to have worked with such outstanding professionals and student-athletes at every stop and for the professional development that took place through my attendance at AIAW and NCAA meetings, involvement with NCAA governance positions and board service with NACDA and NACWAA.
My current assignments with the NCAA have allowed me to incorporate all that I have learned previously and give back in a way that I hope has been helpful to others. This award thus represents to me, the true value of teamwork, learning from and supporting one another; the importance of being inclusive, opening doors for others and maximizing opportunities for all to contribute to a great profession."
Past winners of the James J. Corbett Memorial Award and their affiliation at the time: