EDWARDSVILLE — SIU-Edwardsville Athletics announced the pending retirement of athletic director Dr. Brad Hewitt on Thursday.
Hewitt will leave the department effective June 30 after nearly 17 years in the director role.
"April marks 30 years since I first stepped onto the SIUE campus," Hewitt said. "I could not have known then the impact this institution would have on me both personally and professionally. The time is right for me to move on and pursue other avenues of my life."
Hewitt spent 22 years of his 30 years at the university in athletics. He started his career as assistant athletic director in July of 1989. He served in several roles outside athletics from 1995-2002, including interim vice chancellor for development and public affairs, as well as two stints as interim director of alumni services before returning to athletics in 2002. Outside athletics, Hewitt helped secure funding and led the SIUE Foundation in the construction of Birger Hall.
Hewitt guided SIUE through the transition to Div. I athletics under Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift. Hewitt orchestrated the expansion and development of seven facilities on the SIUE campus to assure the program's competitiveness and the eventual move to Div. I. During his tenure, the program saw the addition of, and several renovations to, Korte Stadium, benefiting soccer and track and field programs. Additionally, Hewitt led the expansion of the baseball, softball, and wrestling facilities, as well as improvements to the Vadalabene Center.
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"Brad has served SIUE Athletics exceedingly well," SIUE Chancellor Randy Pembrook said. "Under his guidance, SIUE student-athletes have posted 25 consecutive semesters with a cumulative GPA better than 3.0 and the university also finished 94th in the Learfield Cup (2017). Brad has been a highly-active member of the community serving on several major advisory boards, including the local school district, and has shared his expertise by teaching at several institutions."
"It has always been my primary goal for the department of intercollegiate athletics for the concept of 'student' to come first in the role of student-athletes," said Hewitt. "Fortunately, we have also seen our athletes succeed on the field, on the court/pitch, and in the arena. I have many fond memories of quality time shared with exceptional young adults who left SIUE to represent our programs in their communities and their professional lives. I am also blessed to have worked with many great individuals who have made a difference in the lives of our students, and I thank them all."
Pembrook said the university would begin a national search for Hewitt's successor.
"We will focus on identifying someone who shares the SIUE vision of the importance of academics in our student-athletes while focusing on their successful athletic careers," he said.
SIUE has 16 sports and competes in the Ohio Valley Conference in everything but wrestling. The Cougars' wrestling squad competes in the Mid-American Conference.