NEW ATHLETICS DIRECTOR HITS THE GROUND RUNNING
Associate Vice President for Athletics Bill McGillis may be relatively new to campus, having arrived in January 2017, but he’s definitely hit the ground running.
“It’s a great feeling to be at the University of San Diego. This is a very special community,” he says. “I’m very fortunate. I’ve been blessed to work at five different and diverse institutions, but this is the pinnacle for me.”
McGillis, who most recently served as the athletics director at the University of Southern Mississippi, replaces Ky Snyder, who was promoted to USD’s vice president of operations and chief operating officer.
“When I think about the University of San Diego, I think about service, I think about faith and values, its caring environment and service and student-centered nature. USD is all about quality and excellence. Coming here was a values-based decision for me, pure and simple,” McGillis adds.
Technically, his arrival at USD has been decades in the making. Thirty-two years ago, McGillis was a college student seeking a sports information internship; he sent a letter to Ted Gosen, USD’s associate director of athletics/media relations, who’s now in his 36th year on campus. “Ted responded that he’d love to have me, but that an opportunity wasn’t available at that time,” McGillis recalls with a laugh. “While it wasn’t my time then, it is today. Today is our time.”
McGillis says the combination of USD’s traditional values and being part of a new leadership team provides an exciting balance.
“There’s great tradition here, a history of achievement and growth, and yet USD is a young university. It has a solid foundation and great things in place, and yet, with new lead-ership comes the opportunity for a fresh set of eyes, fresh perspective,” he says.
“I’m looking forward to sharing President Harris’ vision for the university. Athletics is just a part of it. Sometimes, it’s a very visible part, but we’re just a part. I look forward to a really well-integrated athletics program that contributes to the mission of the university and building upon the great foundation that’s already in place.”
McGillis says his model of an intercollegiate athletics program is “characterized by integrity, by academic achievement and success of its student-athletes, by a phenomenal student- athlete experience, by competitive success and by community engagement.”
He sees all of it and more at USD — and there’s a great deal of potential in the “more” part. “With the help of the Torero Nation, I have every confidence that Torero Athletics can help to exceed the overall goal of raising $300 million for Leading Change: The Campaign for USD. — Ryan T. Blystone