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M. Dianne Murphy Named CU Director of Athletics
M. Dianne Murphy

President Lee C. Bollinger has announced the appointment of M. Dianne Murphy, currently director of athletics and recreation at the University of Denver, as the new Columbia University Athletic Director, effective November 2004.

In her six years at the University of Denver, Murphy transformed the University's athletics program from Division II status into one of the top Division I programs in the country, winning four NCAA Division I titles, including the 2004 NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Championship. Recording its best NCAA Division I season in 2003-2004, Denver finished 58 th in the annual United States Sports Academy (USSA) Directors' Cup as well.

Murphy is credited with advancing various University of Denver teams to the NCAA Regional Tournaments, including men and women's golf, women's basketball, women's gymnastics (which made six consecutive appearances there) and women's tennis. Denver finished in the top 20 percent of all NCAA Division I schools in the USSA Director's Cup last year as well.

During Murphy's tenure, the University's athletics program served as a model for regional and national academic excellence. Student athletes earned an overall GPA of 3.266 for the 2003-04 academic year. The University's athletics program also garnered numerous academic honors, among them the Sun Belt Conference Graduation Rate Award, which it has received for the past five consecutive years.

"Dianne Murphy is an experienced and successful athletic director -- one of the best in the country -- with a tremendous record as an educator, mentor, coach and leader," Bollinger said. "She brings to Columbia an extraordinary mix of talents, the skills necessary to effectively manage and improve Columbia athletics, a strong work ethic, attention to intellectual and personal growth of students, as well as a strong background steering sports programs in the Ivy League."

Prior to joining the University of Denver, Murphy served as associate athletics director and senior woman administrator at Cornell University , where she oversaw nine Division I sports, marketing and promotions, sports information and alumni and booster activities. An 18-year veteran athletics administrator, Murphy also held the position of assistant athletics director responsible for external operations at The University of Iowa. She coached for 13 years as the head women's basketball coach at Eastern Kentucky, Florida State University and Shorter College, and held several teaching positions including associate professor and chair, Division of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Kentucky State University.

"This is a wonderful opportunity," Murphy said. "I look forward to working with Lee Bollinger, the tremendous Columbia athletics staff and student athletes to realize the full potential of Columbia 's sports programs."

Earlier this year, Murphy was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Administrator of the Year and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics General Sports Turf West Region Athletic Director of the Year for 2003-04. She holds a Ph.D. in administration and curriculum from Florida State University (1980), as well as masters and bachelor's degrees from Tennessee Technological University.

The new director of Columbia Athletics succeeds John Reeves, who retired after a 13-year tenure in June, and Paul Fernandes, who served as interim director this summer.

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Published: Aug 24, 2004
Last modified: Jan 10, 2005

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