Vicky Chun ’91 Named Director of Athletics

After a semester-long national search, Colgate’s own Vicky Chun ’91 was named the University’s new Director of Athletics on December 20. At the time, Chun had been working as Colgate’s Interim Athletic Director since August 1, 2012.

 Though Chun’s selection was by no means guaranteed, few in the Athletics department were surprised by the announcement, which was delivered at a packed Colgate Inn press conference.

“I am excited to celebrate the success of one of our own,” Provost and Dean of the Faculty Doug Hicks said. He talked about building on a strong tradition of excellence – a theme echoed in the announcement of President Herbst himself.

“Vicky embodies how we [at Colgate] want to do everything,” President Herbst said.

Prior to her numerous positions in athletic administration at Colgate, Vicky held Women’s volleyball coaching positions at both Cornell University and Colgate, and played on Colgate’s own volleyball team as a student. She remains the only individual in NCAA Division I history to have earned both Player of the Year and Coach of the Year titles in the same conference, as well as the only person to win conference championships in both roles.

“I think Colgate is a unique place, just for its size, its high academic reputation and its division one athletics,” Chun said. “We’re a place of high achievers, from the perspective of the students, professors and coaches.”

Professor of Biology and Colgate’s NCAA faculty athletics representative Ken Belanger acted as chair of the search committee. The committee also included faculty, trustees, administrators, staff members and coaches.

As one of the five student-athletes asked to meet separately with Athletics Director candidates during the search process, Women’s Basketball captain Lulu Brase was familiar with Chun both in her interim capacity and as a candidate for the position.

“All of us [on the student committee] thought that she was Colgate in a person,” Brase said. “You couldn’t find anyone who knows Colgate more, loves Colgate better, or would be a better representation of Colgate and Colgate athletics.”

“The director of Athletics position is something I’ve always aspired to do,” Chun said. “Of course being the Director of Athletics at my alma mater has been a dream, and not something I ever expected. But when the opportunity presented itself, I went for it.”

If Vicky’s strong personal ties to Colgate weren’t enough, her nomination will also make her the only female athletics director in the Patriot League and one of only 29 women – and eight minority women – leading Division I athletics departments across the country.

At the press conference, which was packed with student-athletes, Colgate staff, faculty and administration, and community supporters, Chun received only two questions, one of which touched on whether her job would be any different as the first woman in this particular role. She responded “no” – that though it would come with its own challenges, she had always been treated with respect for who she was.

“I think that standing out in any way, you have a responsibility to do the right thing,” Chun said. “Just like I’m a representative of Colgate, people will also see me as a minority and as a woman, and I take that responsibility very seriously. I hope that one day it won’t be a big deal, but I realize that right now it is groundbreaking for Division I Athletics.”

Chun is not only dedicated to the success of Athletics department at Colgate, but sees it as an integral part of the Colgate experience.

“I think it’s a part of the overall learning process of college life,” Chun said. “There are all kinds of life lessons learned as a student-athlete. It’s learning how to win, but also – more importantly – how to lose. Because believe it or not, many of our student-athletes will experience failure for the very first time in their lives through athletics. And then there are lessons of discipline, time management, leadership, responsibility.”

Though Chun’s own story seems to be one of success, rather than one of failure, it is clear enough to anyone who knows her – win or lose, this Athletic Director bleeds maroon.

Contact Rebekah Ward at

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