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BYU consolidates men's, women's athletics programs

New department to be led by transitional team

Following a four-month, comprehensive review of Brigham Young University's athletic program, Advancement Vice President K. Fred Skousen has announced the consolidation of Men's and Women's Athletics into one athletic department. Skousen noted that this move will benefit all BYU athletes and coaches.

"By having one athletic department, BYU will eliminate any duplication of time and resources, channeling all effort into one cohesive program," said Skousen. "This new department will be based on a well-defined strategy, allowing for consistent budget management, consistent treatment of student athletes and clear accountability."

The new department will be led by a transitional leadership team under the direction of Skousen. The university is not renewing the contracts of Val Hale and Elaine Michaelis as Men's and Women's athletic directors. Michaelis is planning to retire, and Hale is pursuing other opportunities. "We recognize and appreciate the dedication and contribution of Val and Elaine to the university over a long period of time," said Skousen.

The members of the leadership team are Peter Pilling, senior associate athletic director; Tom Holmoe, senior associate athletic director; Brian Santiago, associate athletic director; and Janie Penfield, newly appointed associate athletic director and senior woman administrator.

Pilling and Holmoe will act as co-chairs of the transition team, reporting to Skousen.

"After completing a four-month self-study, we believe we are ready to implement a number of recommendations that will help us create a distinctive, exceptional athletic program built upon the goals and values of BYU," said Skousen.

The consolidation of the two programs is an important step in this direction, he explained. "Not only will this allow for consistency in our management functions, but also in our philosophy of sport. We expect to see greater emphasis on academics and the spiritual values of our student athletes, improved communication, better support for all coaches and sports, increased emphasis on fiscal management and improved unity and team work among all teams and department units."

Skousen said he is confident the new leadership team can accomplish these objectives while bringing the two departments together.

A formal search for an athletic director is not expected to begin for three to six months. "As we look to appoint a new athletic director, we will consider our strong internal candidates as well as qualified external candidates. When we are prepared to begin the search process, we will announce it to the general public."

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