Athletics News

Jim Phillips Named Athletic Director At Northern Illinois

Aug. 23, 2004

Notre Dame, Ind. - Jim Phillips, senior associate athletic director at Notre Dame for the past year and a member of the athletic department staff for the last four years, today was named the director of intercollegiate athletics at Northern Illinois University. He succeeds Cary Roth who left the NIU in the spring to become the athletic director at the University of Nevada. Phillips served as the senior associate athletic director for external affairs during the 2003-04 school year after a three-year stint as the associate athletic director for community relations. His duties included the creation, coordination, management and implementation of all annual, endowment and capital development activities on behalf of the athletics department in alignment with the Central Development Office. During 2002-03, Phillips, along with Central Development, helped launch the Rockne Heritage Fund - the first-ever athletics annual fund - that directly benefits student-athlete grant-in-aid scholarships. Additionally, Phillips was an integral part of the campaign to underwrite the building of a new 96,000-square foot athletics facility. This complex, currently under construction, will house all facets of the football program, as well as offer strength and conditioning areas and a sports medicine and rehabilitation center for the University's 26 varsity sports programs. Phillips also directed all phases of the planning, implementation and execution of the entire athletics community relations program. This includes VIP events and recognition programs. His responsibilities also included development of new institutional and departmental advancement programs as identified by university relations and athletics. Phillips also oversaw all aspects of the athletics ticket office including ticketing, parking, staffing, systems, and customer relations. He also coordinated corporate sponsorship for the Kevin White Radio Show, and was the liaison between these sponsors and the radio network. His sport administration duties included providing supervision for the men's soccer, women's rowing and women's golf programs, as well as assisting White with men's basketball. He played an organizational role in the plans for football bowl attendance and serves as the contact person for bowl representatives as they visit the Notre Dame campus. Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Phillips served as assistant athletic director at the University of Tennessee from 1998-2000. Phillips oversaw a $12.4 million athletic annual giving program and was directly responsible for identifying, cultivating and soliciting all major gifts and donations for the Tennessee athletic department. In addition, he assisted in starting the first-ever capital campaign for athletics at Tennessee that raised over $50 million for endowments, facilities and programs. Before arriving at Tennessee, he worked with Athletic Director Kevin White at Arizona State as an athletic development officer in 1997-98, assisting with the annual giving program, as well as its $35 million capital campaign for facilities. Phillips was an assistant basketball coach with the Sun Devils from 1992-97 after serving as a graduate assistant for two years prior (1990-92). He also assisted with the United States basketball team at the `96 Goodwill Games. Phillips' career in athletic administration began at the University of Illinois where he served as an administrative assistant in the athletic department from 1988-90. A native of Chicago, he is a 1990 graduate of Illinois with a bachelors of science degree in kinesiology. He received a master's of education degree in administration from Arizona State in 1992 and is currently pursuing a doctorate in educational administration and policy studies from Tennessee. He and his wife, Laura, are the parent of four children -- Luke, Madeline, Meredith and John. Phillips is just one of a long and impressive list of senior athletic administrators who have worked for White and then gone on to become athletic directors. This list includes: Jim Sterk (Washington State), Tom Boeh (Ohio University), Ian McGaw (Northeastern, Massachusetts and Baylor), Bruce Van De Velde (Iowa State), Herman Frazier (Hawaii), Scott Devine (St. Mary's-Md.), Greg Capell (Loras), Tim Van Alstine (Western Illinois), Bubba Cunningham (Ball State) and current Notre Dame deputy of athletics Sandy Barbour, who followed White as the athletic director at Tulane. "Jim will bring a lot of `juice' to NIU's program," White says. "He's highly energetic, always enthusiastic, and terribly passionate. Without question, Jim will exceed expectations and seriously overachieve. In the athletic recruiting vernacular, Jim represents a great `get' for NIU, and, conversely, NIU is the perfect `get' for Jim and Laura Phillips and their wonderful family."

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