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Swarbrick hired as new athletic director

Joseph McMahon | Friday, August 22, 2008

After an extensive search, University president John Jenkins named Indiana lawyer Jack Swarbrick Notre Dame’s 12th athletic director on July 16. A member of the Notre Dame class of 1976 and an expert in sports law, Swarbrick replaced former athletic director Kevin White, who left to take the same position at Duke University.

“I am confident that in Jack Swarbrick we have found a superb athletic director for the University of Notre Dame,” Jenkins said in his introduction of Swarbrick. “In his career, Jack Swarbrick has gained and exhibited skills that include communications, marketing, negotiations, and consensus building at the highest level, all within the athletics arena.”

A native of Yonkers, N.Y., who moved with his family to Bloomington, Ind., when he was a teenager, Swarbrick attended Stanford Law School after graduating from Notre Dame. He then returned to Indiana, where he joined the law firm of Baker & Daniels, where he specialized in sports law and forged strong relationships with many executives in college athletics.

“He has developed numerous relationships with key leaders in college sports: the BCS commissioners, athletic directors across the country, media executives, and the leadership of the NCAA, as well as many others in professional and Olympic sports,” Jenkins said in a July 16 press conference. “He has a breadth of vision of the landscape of college athletics that in my experience is unsurpassed. Jack is widely respected for his insight and integrity.”

According to a press release, Swarbrick is responsible for bringing many high profile sporting events to Indianapolis, including the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 1999.

“When more recently people said there is no chance that the NFL will ever take the Super Bowl to Indianapolis, Indiana, I had all of the challenge I needed, and I was committed to make that happen,” Swarbrick said in a July 16 press conference.

Swarbrick described his time at Notre Dame as having “defined my life” and said he was excited to assume control of the reins of one of the country’s most storied collegiate athletics programs.

Despite Notre Dame’s 3-9 football season last year, Swarbrick said he sees great promise in the future of all of the University’s athletics.

“The challenges here are significant,” he said in the press conference. “But they’re challenges of the best kind. They’re challenges born not of problems, not of shortcomings, but of great striving, of high goals. I believe that I accept this job on the threshold of extraordinary change in intercollegiate athletics in America.”

Swarbrick said he would not only focus on building winning teams, but he would also help maintain Notre Dame’s image as the premier Catholic university in the country.

“I’m not here to just do sports right,” he said. “We want to be a great academic institution that furthers research in this country. We want to be a place of faith. And we want to be a place that wins on the athletic field and turns out extraordinary student athletes.”