Dr. Ron Zwierlein is coming back to the institution he served a decade ago.
The former St. Bonaventure University athletic director will assume the same position on an interim basis beginning Dec. 29. Zwierlein replaces Steve Watson, who has accepted the athletic director position at Loyola Chicago after eight years at St. Bonaventure.
“People may perceive the ‘interim’ term as status quo, but in today’s intercollegiate athletics environment that notion is unacceptable,” Zwierlein said. “In my discussions with the university administration, we are in accord that St. Bonaventure must continue to move forward. From my past experiences at St. Bonaventure, everyone from the faculty, staff, students, alumni and the greater community has the same conviction – to make a great university even greater.”
A longtime administrator in athletics and student affairs at Bowling Green State University, Zwierlein came to St. Bonaventure in January 2004. He helped author and implement a five-year strategic plan and successfully completed the athletic department’s NCAA Division I certification in 2005.
His most noteworthy accomplishment athletically was extending the contract of women’s basketball coach Jim Crowley, who was convinced he would be fired as he neared the end of the 2006 season. But Zwierlein liked the direction of the program and gave Crowley another year.
Since then, the Bonnies have had only one losing season, been invited four times to the postseason WNIT, and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in 2012, when they went 31-4 and finished the year ranked 21st in the nation.
“To be able to have such a seamless transition from Steve to Ron is truly a blessing,” said Rick Trietley, vice president for student affairs. “To have someone like Ron on board so familiar with who we are, and so committed to moving us forward, is a tremendous asset.”
Zwierlein retired to Ohio in January 2007 to spend more time with family. He’s spent the last eight years as an NCAA Certification Team (peer review) member.
“I am excited about working alongside Sr. Margaret (Carney) again,” Zwierlein said of the university’s president. “And look forward to rekindling friendships while replenishing a new, longer list of Bona faithful when I return.”
The university will launch a search for permanent athletic director in 2015, Trietley said.
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. We are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition. Our students are becoming extraordinary.
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