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William & Mary AD Resigns After Slashing Athletics

October 8, 2020 / Athletic Administration
In the last month, the William & Mary athletics department has been ravaged by program cuts. Seven of the department’s 23 programs — men’s and women’s swimming, men’s and women’s gymnastics, men’s indoor and outdoor track and field, and women’s volleyball — were cut in September to place more emphasis on the revenue-producing sports of football and basketball.

Fast forward to October and the Tribe’s athletic director, Samantha Huge, has resigned amid the widespread dissatisfaction of the cuts, according to an article in The Virginian-Pilot.

william & Mary
Photo: William & Mary athletics department / Creative Commons

“Athletics Director Samantha Huge was asked to lead difficult change at William & Mary – change required to address long-standing imbalances and put the Athletics Department on sound financial and operational footing for years to come,” W&M President Katherine Rowe said in a release. “She took on that challenge recognizing that it was in the best interest of the university and she continues to make decisions using that standard as her guide. Now it is clear to me that a new approach is necessary,” Rowe said.

“Accordingly, Director Huge and I have mutually agreed that it is best to part ways so the university can focus on the critical questions facing W&M Athletics. I accept this step with a heavy heart and with great respect for Samantha Huge and her leadership.”

The move came, according to The Virginian-Pilot, approximately 30 minutes before the university’s Arts & Sciences Faculty was preparing to vote on a motion of “no-confidence” in her leadership at a separate meeting.

Huge was athletic director at W&M since March 2017. She came to Williamsburg with 17 years of Division I athletics experience, having served previously as associate director of athletics at Texas A&M and deputy director of athletics and recreation services at the University of Delaware, the article read.

Huge said her goal in coming to W&M was to increase athletic revenue. However, the athletic department projects that it will incur losses of more than $3.2 million each of the next three academic years, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Jeremy Martin, chief of staff to Rowe, will serve as interim director of athletics, the school announced.

“Later this week, he will share the near- and long-term financial shortfalls W&M Athletics faces, as transparently as possible, so there is a broad understanding of them,” Rowe said. “And, as planned, he will engage sport-specific groups who have asked to contribute practical solutions. That process continues intensively this month, with the goal of minimizing uncertainty for the student-athletes and coaches most directly affected.”

To read the full story from The Virginian-Pilot on the shake-up with the athletic director position at William & Mary, click here