Tuesday July 7, 2015

An Impressive Run

University of Dayton Vice President and Director of Athletics Tim Wabler will retire effective at the beginning of September.

"The timing is right for me to retire, both personally and professionally," Wabler said. "I am looking forward to Arlene and I doing a lot of things that there has just not been time for and for the University, athletics is in a great position to continue to build upon. 

"I want to thank Dan Curran for the opportunity to be the director of athletics at the University of Dayton. This has been a team effort, and it is all for the benefit of our student-athletes. It starts at the top, with tremendous encouragement and support from Dan and the board of trustees. It goes through quality coaches and an exceptional support staff who are totally focused on providing our student-athletes with a great Division I experience. 

"I am also thankful for the support for the Flyers from our community, especially the 30 or so difference-makers and game changers who have been so crucial in providing our student-athletes and coaches with the tools they need to be so successful. 

"These elements will be in place when I clean out my desk. The University of Dayton athletics is in a great place moving forward." 

Wabler, 63, is the first Dayton native to serve as UD's director of athletics. He was a three-time Flyer pitcher of the year before graduating from the University in 1974. He began working in the Dayton athletics division as associate director of athletics in 1993 and was named vice president and director of athletics in 2008. 

"I want to thank Tim for his service to the University. He has been an invaluable member of our University community who has worked tirelessly to build our reputation as a leading institution in college athletics," University of Dayton President Daniel J. Curran said. "Tim combined innovative thinking and bold decision-making with a great tradition to continue our momentum and reach new heights. 

"The long list of accolades and accomplishments involving academic and athletic achievement, the hiring of successful coaches and improving support services that create a great student-athlete experience are not by accident. They are a testament to Tim's hard work and dedication to the University." 

That list includes…

* Twenty-nine conference champions and 21 teams who reached their respective NCAA tournaments have come during Wabler's seven-year tenure. That is the best performance of any seven-year in UD history. The conference championships came from eight different sports.

* In the 22 years since Wabler came to Dayton athletics as an administrator, the Flyers have won 62 conference championships and had 34 teams reach the NCAA's. Compare that to the previous 22 years, when just four UD teams won conference titles and 17 teams reached the post season – five in Division I (men's basketball), two in Division II (women's basketball) and 10 in Division III (football).

* The University of Dayton finished first among the 14 Atlantic 10 Conference schools in the 2014-2015 Learfield Sports Directors' Cup (all-sport) final standings, and 16th among Football Championship Subdivision programs. This is the best Dayton finish in the history of the Learfield Cup, which was started by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in 1993-94.

* Wabler was a winner of the Under Armor AD of the Year Award, announced by The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics in May. Wabler was one of four to be honored from the Football Championship Subdivision.

* UD's men's and women's basketball team both reached the Elite Eight® in the last two years. The men advanced to the Elite Eight® in 2014. It was the third time in school history. The women made the Elite Eight® for the first time in 2015. UD is one of four schools to have its men's or women's teams reach the Elite Eight® in the last two years – UConn, Louisville and Notre Dame are the other three.

* In the last five years, Flyer teams have combined to have their best winning percentage than any other period in school history. In addition to the success of the Flyer basketball programs in 2014-15, UD women's soccer, volleyball and softball all won Atlantic 10 Championships. 

* Wabler hired Archie Miller who led the men's basketball team to a run into the 2014 Elite Eight®, while the women's basketball team earned their sixth consecutive NCAA berth in 2015 and made a run to the Elite Eight® under the direction of head coach Jim Jabir.

* University of Dayton Arena has been the site of 34 NCAA men's basketball championship games since 2009, including the inception of the NCAA First Four in 2011. With the First Four also came the University's partnership with the First Four Local Organizing Committee creating a greater community involvement with NCAA events than ever before.

* Wabler's most recent success story is the addition of the world-class Olsen Athletics Performance Center on Dayton's campus. In less than 18 months, UD conceived, funded and completed the $2.1 million facility. This renovation allows all of the University's nearly 450 student-athletes to train, practice and study within a 500-foot radius.

* Two major projects currently underway are the renovations of the Frericks Center near the center of campus and Donoher Basketball Center at UD Arena, bringing those facilities on par with the Olsen Center as state-of-the-art tools for Flyers coaches and student-athletes to utilize.

* In addition to the construction of the Olsen Center and Donoher and Frericks Renovations, the Riggs Academic Center and the Cronin Center were added during Wabler's tenure. Since 2001, every venue used by UD student-athletes has been constructed or renovated.

* External fundraising for Flyer athletics has risen to nearly $6.7 million in 2014-15. That figure, the highest in school history, ensures that UD student-athletes and coaches have the tools they need for continued, if not greater, success.

* While setting milestones in several sports, they have maintained graduation rates that are among the highest in the country. Dayton's GSR of 95 in the most recent report ranks the University tied for 25th in the nation and tied for first in the Atlantic 10. As success on the field has improved, UD student-athletes also have performed in the classroom.

* The Flyers' combined cumulative GPA has risen to a school-record of 3.305.

* Dayton was the only school in Division I to have both men's and women's basketball teams achieve a perfect 100 Graduation Success Rate (GSR) score in the most recent GSR report and compete in the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Tournaments.

* The Flyers are extremely active in the community. UD finished second in the A-10 Assists Challenge, which organizes community service projects that the Atlantic 10 member teams are engaged in. Dayton student-athletes completed more than 3,000 service hours in 2014-15. 

Wabler's service to his alma mater has earned him high praise from two members of the University of Dayton board of trustees who have seen his work up close. 

Board Chair Steve Cobb notes Wabler's focus on the most important issues facing have led to short-term and long-term successes at UD. 

"Tim's leadership skills have become well known amongst his peers in Division I athletics across the country," Cobb said. "He has a knack for paying attention to the highest priorities, which will pay dividends to our community, alumni and the Flyer Faithful for years to come. 

"More importantly, Tim has always emphasized student-athletes' commitment to their education along with an impeccable record of values based compliance with NCAA standards and expectations. I couldn't be more proud of Tim's accomplishments, and the influence he has had over UD Athletics."

Larry Woerner, the chair of the board's athletic advisory committee adds that the success enjoyed by Dayton athletics is no accident.

 "Tim has done a spectacular job of leading University of Dayton athletics to broadly unprecedented success," Woerner stated. "Under his guidance, we've done things the right way, with excellent coaches and superb student-athletes. We on the board of trustees are proud of the job he has done as the leader of our athletics programs these past seven years.

"In everything he does, Tim clearly has the best interests of the University of Dayton at heart, and he has done a great job of representing the University behind the scenes. He has tremendous respect of the Atlantic 10 leadership, both his fellow Directors of Athletics and Commissioner (Bernadette) McGlade."

Wabler is one of just 41 former student-athletes serving as director of athletics at their alma mater, and only the seventh man to serve as the University of Dayton's director of athletics. 

For more information, contact Doug Hauschild, director of athletics communications, at 937-229-4390 or sid@udayton.edu.

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