Xavier University names Greg Christopher as new athletic director

NORWOOD, Ohio - Xavier University announced the college's new director of athletics will be Greg Christopher, the former athletic director of Bowling Green State University.

Xavier University president Michael J. Graham, S.J, announced the school's decision in a news release.

"Greg's commitment to student athletes is not just about winning games and matches," Graham said in the release. "Character and leadership building, academic excellence and community service are signature traits of how he runs a program. His commitment to our Jesuit value of caring for the whole person, makes him the right choice to lead Xavier's athletic teams into the Big East Conference."

President Graham formally introduced Christopher as the new athletic director Tuesday at 3 p.m. at the Cintas Center on Xavier's campus.

Christopher didn't even pause when Xavier asked if he had any interest in becoming director of athletics.

Not many jobs out there like this one.

The Musketeers are moving into a Big East league that's under construction, a step up for a school that had developed one of the nation's top basketball programs in the Atlantic 10.

Xavier hired him away from the same job at Bowling Green in northern Ohio. He's got a lot to learn, and fast. Xavier, Butler and Creighton are joining seven break-away Catholic schools from the Big East to form a basketball-centered league that opens play in the fall.

Christopher has already talked to coach Chris Mack about the basketball schedule for next season.

Christopher, 47, originally from West Lafayette, Ind., will be the 11th athletic director in Xavier's history. He will take over the new position in May, according to Xavier officials.

"I am honored to be joining Xavier Nation," said Christopher. "The institution's values and tradition of excellence in both academics and athletics make this a tremendous opportunity. I am thankful for the Xavier administration, especially (President) Fr. Mike Graham and (Vice President) John Kucia, Mike (Bobinski) and the coaches and staff, who have created a strong foundation. This is a distinctive time in Xavier's history and I am committed to building on its excellence by leading Xavier Athletics with integrity and passion."

Christopher has served as the athletic director at BGSU for the past six and a half years where he oversaw 18 athletic programs with more than 400 student-athletes.

Under Christopher's leadership at BGSU, the women's basketball team became the first team in the Mid-American Conference to advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA in 2006-07. Women's basketball also made the 2013 WNIT and had nine consecutive national postseason appearances. 

BGSU's women's volleyball team won the 2012 MAC Tournament championship.

The BGSU men's teams shared similar victories, including the 2009 men's basketball team winning its first regular season MAC title in a decade. The baseball team won three consecutive MAC East Division titles.

According to a press release, student-athletes with a GPA of 3.0 or above increased in each of the last five years, through the Falcon Leadership Academy, which he helped oversee at the university.
 
Christopher also helped the BGSU athletic department raise more than $28 million during the university's recent fundraising campaign. 

Christopher pushed for more than $60 million in new and renovated athletics facilities, which included BGSU's Sebo Athletic Center and the Stroh Center.

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