Jim Livengood Named 2020 James J. Corbett Memorial Award Recipient

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced that NACDA Past President, Hall of Famer and College Sports Solutions consultant Jim Livengood has been selected as the recipient of the 54th James J. Corbett Memorial Award, the highest honor one can achieve in collegiate athletics administration. During his career, Livengood served as athletics director at Southern Illinois University (SIU), Washington State University (WSU), University of Arizona (UA) and University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Livengood will be honored during the 55th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention, June 7-10 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.
 
“Jim was a visionary ‘hands-on’ athletics director and held leadership positions on multiple conference and national committees during his career. His servant leadership has carried on into his second career as he continues mentoring current administrators. He also played an integral role in assisting NACDA as we transitioned to Las Vegas as a long term Convention site,” said Bob Vecchione, NACDA chief executive officer. “NACDA has greatly benefitted from Jim’s wisdom, guidance, friendship and positive energy over the years, and we are looking forward to welcoming him into this elite circle of Corbett Award winners.”
 
The Corbett Award is presented annually to the collegiate administrator who “through the years has most typified Corbett’s devotion to intercollegiate athletics and worked unceasingly for its betterment.” Corbett, athletics director at Louisiana State University, was NACDA’s first president in 1965. Additionally, Livengood will receive an honorary degree from the Sports Management Institute (SMI), an educational institute sponsored by NACDA and the universities of Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Southern California and Texas.
 
“Nothing in intercollegiate athletics has a greater honor attached to it than the Corbett Award,” said Livengood. “For athletics leaders at any stage, there is no organization around that provides the leadership, education and family that NACDA provides. This brings back so many memories throughout the years, as the NACDA family became our family, and we became theirs. Thank you for this tremendous honor!”
 
Livengood began his career in collegiate athletics administration as associate director of athletics, development and public relations at Washington State from 1980-85. In 1985 he was hired as director of athletics at Southern Illinois, kickstarting an impressive 28 consecutive years as an AD at four different institutions.
 
After two years at SIU, Livengood returned to Washington State as the director of athletics from 1987-93. The longest tenure of his career was marked by nearly 16 years spent as athletics director at Arizona, beginning in 1994.
 
Livengood worked with three different university presidents during his time at Arizona. His broad-based stewardship put considerable focus on student-athlete welfare, with expanded services through the C.A.T.S. program, revamping of the department’s academic services unit and other personal development offerings for Wildcat student-athletes.
 
Wildcat programs won 11 NCAA championships under Livengood’s direction, beginning with the 1994 softball crown through the men’s and women’s swimming championships in 2008. The explosive growth of UA intercollegiate athletics programs and operations was matched in other areas as well, including key capital projects and extensive improvements to Arizona’s athletics venues. While at Arizona, Livengood was recognized twice as an Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA, in addition to serving on the NACDA Executive Committee and moving up the Officer ranks to eventually serve as the Association’s President in 1998-99. He also served as the Pac-10 Conference President, President of the D1A Athletic Directors’ Association (now LEAD1), chair of the Pac-10 Athletics Directors Revenue Sharing Committee, member of the Rose Bowl Committee, the NCAA Fellows program and chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee.
 
Livengood made his fourth and final stop as an athletics director when he was named AD at UNLV in December 2009, a position he held until his retirement in May 2013. At UNLV, he led the construction of the state-of-the-art basketball practice facility, the Mendenhall Center. In addition to overseeing the improvement of student-athlete graduation rates, Livengood was also an effective fundraiser and made increasing UNLV’s exposure locally and nationally a priority. Under his leadership, Rebel athletics tripled its private fundraising revenue. One year removed from UNLV, Livengood was inducted into the NACDA Hall of Fame in 2014.
 
In his retirement, Livengood has worked as a consultant for College Sports Solutions and has remained involved in NACDA and college athletics as a whole, guiding and supporting a new wave of athletics directors making their mark on the industry.



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