Western Carolina University has named a former Catamount baseball player as the school’s new athletic director. Alex Gary will now oversee the Western Carolina athletic department which fields teams in 16 sports.
Chancellor Kelli Brown announced the decision in a Friday afternoon press conference. The search committee explained that Gary was chosen out of a field of 60 candidates. In her remarks, Brown highlighted the need for the athletic department to be the “front porch” of a university and to be able to build up a roster of winning coaches. She says the committee found that person.
“This hire is a grand slam homerun and one that touches all of the bases,” says Brown.
Brown explained that Gray’s experience in development will be crucial as WCU begins to implement the athletic department’s master plan which will include construction and renovations of some of the athletic facilities.
Gary returns to Cullowhee from Oregon State University where he is the school’s senior associate athletic director for development. Gary was an outfielder on the Catamount team that won the 2003 Southern Conference championship.
In his remarks, Gary expressed how much he learned as a student athlete. Now, he says he’s excited to help the next generation of student athletes:
“There are a lot of things as a student athlete that you are going to get an exposure to that are real world lessons that you are learning not in the classroom but in your time as a student athlete. So whether that is time management, conflict resolution or how to deal with success and failure - those are just a few things that are really important.”
Gray’s first day on the job will be May 1.