Marquette Names Steve Cottingham Athletic Director

Feb. 21, 2008

Milwaukee - Marquette University Thursday (Feb. 21, 2008) announced the appointment of Steve Cottingham as athletic director. Cottingham had served as interim athletic director since January 2007.

"Steve's leadership, his administrative and legal experience, and his intense commitment to Marquette will help continue the upward trajectory we've seen in our athletic program," said Marquette President Robert A. Wild, S.J.

Cottingham had originally said he would not be a candidate for the permanent AD position, but Wild said as time passed, "university and athletic officials recognized the valuable role Steve played" and Steve himself expressed a desire to continue the work he had begun.

"In the Ignatian, Jesuit tradition, we talk about the need for discernment, and this was certainly a period of discernment for me," Cottingham said. "While I initially intended to return to my role as associate senior vice president for the university, the support I received and my own experience led me to conclude that this (the AD position) was the right place for me to serve the university at this point in time."

In addition to his role as associate senior vice president, Cottingham, an attorney, had also served in Marquette's Office of the General Counsel. In those roles he was closely connected to the athletic program, negotiating coaches' contracts, the university's contract with the Bradley Center and Marquette's move to the BIG EAST Conference. As interim athletic director, he was responsible for negotiating a television contract that includes broadcast of all men's basketball games, as well as a number of women's games. He also hired several new coaches.

Marquette has 14 Division I teams, including men's and women's basketball, cross country, soccer, tennis and indoor and outdoor track, men's golf, and women's volleyball.

"I believe I can foster the continued development of our athletic programs and staff," Cottingham said. "I look forward to furthering Marquette's connections within the BIG EAST Conference, to the ongoing development of our playing and practice sites and to working with our fund raisers to increase the number of endowed scholarships supporting our student athletes."

Tom Crean, men's basketball coach, called Cottingham "conscientious, committed and an exceptional leader." "I have every confidence that he will continue to flourish and make our department even more respected nationally," he said. "Steve, along with his outstanding team led by Mike Broeker, gives us every opportunity to grow and take the steps necessary to continue to compete at the highest level. On a personal note, the Crean Family is looking forward to many more years to come with Steve, Lisa and Taira."

"I've enjoyed my relationship with Steve as interim athletic director and look forward to a great future with him. He has a desire to see our athletic programs continue to excel while maintaining the mission, character and integrity of the university," Terri Mitchell, women's basketball coach, said.

Cottingham said he met with coaches, athletic staff members and student-athletes Thursday morning.

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