Brad Edwards, former safety on the Washington Redskins from 1990-93 and athletic director at Jacksonville University has been named George Mason’s new athletic director. The athletic department could use some new direction, especially with the move to the Atlantic 10 conference, and this hire seems to be a step in the right direction. I love the hire because Edwards’ fundraising abilities are impressive in his short time working in college athletics. From his bio on the Jacksonville athletics site:
“Over the course of the year, Edwards and the leadership team at Jacksonville raised a department record of approximately $5,000,000 in new capital gifts for athletic facilities, spearheading the development of a 5,500 seat expansion with a new press box to the Football and Lacrosse stadium, a new Softball office/locker room complex with covered batting cage, and a new Lacrosse team meeting room.”
The key words in that are “new capital gifts”. Today’s press release mentions this number at $3 million, either way that’s impressive at an Atlantic Sun school. George Mason has never had a healthy crop of corporate sponsors which never made sense to me considering the school’s close proximity to so many successful corporations and being in the federal government’s back yard. Perhaps Edwards can change that and get the added funding needed to finish the renovation projects the university has had planned for years. There are still athletic facilities that could use an upgrade at Mason and Edwards also involved in the design of new ones while at Jacksonville. Athletic facilities are becoming an arms race more and more in college athletics so Edwards background in this area should be especially pleasing to fans.
The local ties is another big positive. Being a former Super Bowl champ on the Washington Redskins makes you a big time local hero in this area. I would think Edwards has a lot of connections in the area that could benefit the athletic department.
Edwards also recently went through the process of hiring of a new head basketball coach, a bit of information I’m sure many will find relevant. The coach he fired? Cliff Warren, who was an assistant under Paul Hewitt at Georgia Tech and Siena.