PEORIA, Ill. -- Dr. Michael E. Cross has been appointed Director of Athletics at Bradley University, effective January 1, 2010.
As Bradley's ninth Director of Athletics in 100 years, Dr. Cross will supervise operations, athletic performance, NCAA compliance, communications and fundraising for Bradley's 14 intercollegiate athletic programs, while serving as a liaison between the Athletic Department and other units of the University. He will also serve as a member of President Joanne Glasser's cabinet.
"This is a very special place and I look forward to coming to campus to get started," Dr. Cross said. "Bradley's history of athletic success, academic excellence and President Glasser's leadership make this a unique opportunity. I look forward to partnering with President Glasser, the coaching staff, student-athletes, faculty, staff, alumni and the entire Peoria community to make Bradley's athletic program one of national distinction."
President Glasser hired Dr. Cross after an intensive nationwide search. "Dr. Cross is a talented athletic administrator and a gifted communicator with an impressive track record of achievement," President Glasser said. "He brings a background of great academic and athletic success that is an excellent fit for Bradley. I am confident he will make an important contribution to our student-athletes, our Athletic Department, our University and our community."
Dr. Cross comes to Bradley from Princeton University where he has been Executive Associate Director of Athletics since July of 2006. For three years before that appointment, he served as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Intercollegiate Programming.
In those roles, Dr. Cross was a leading member of the senior management team that is responsible for the Ivy League university's 38 intercollegiate programs. His responsibilities included overseeing coaches and their staffs; conducting searches for head coaches; administering scheduling; and supervising Athletic Department marketing, promotions and communications initiatives.
From December 2006 to April 2007, Dr. Cross was the Acting Director of Athletics at Princeton while Athletic Director Gary Walters chaired the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee.
On the Princeton Athletic Department staff since 1999, Dr. Cross also served as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Regulatory Affairs, Associate Director of Athletics for Regulatory Affairs, and Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance. From 2003 to 2007, he was commissioner of the Collegiate Sprint Football League.
In each of the last 14 years, Princeton has won the Ivy League's unofficial all-sports standings and has produced at least one individual team or national champion each year. During that time, Princeton teams have won 24 national championships and 153 Ivy League championships, more than any other Ivy League institution. The Princeton Athletic Department supports more than 1,000 student-athletes.
"I want to thank Gary Walters for his mentorship over the last decade as well as the senior staff, coaches and many others at Princeton," Dr. Cross said. "Their collective excellence has prepared me for this opportunity and working with them each day has been a blessing."
Prior to moving to Princeton, Dr. Cross served at the University of Michigan as Assistant Director of Compliance, NCAA Certification Assistant and as a Graduate Assistant between 1994 and 1999. While at the State University of New York at Buffalo, Dr. Cross was the Assistant to the Dean of Students from 1992-1993, an Assistant Coach of the men's basketball team in 1991-1992, and a three-year letter-winner on the basketball team.
He is currently a member of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance, and previously served on the NCAA Baseball and NCAA Research committees.
A 1991 graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo with a degree in economics, Dr. Cross also received his master's degree in education from SUNY-Buffalo in 1993 and a doctoral degree in higher education from the University of Michigan in 1999.
A native of the Buffalo, New York area, Dr. Cross and his wife Jennifer have two sons.
Since May, Virnette House-Browning has served as Bradley Interim Director of Athletics, succeeding Ken Kavanagh who became Athletic Director at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Bradley University sponsors 14 sports at the NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics level. The Bradley men's basketball program ranks 25th all-time with 1,542 victories, competing in two NCAA Tournament championship games and winning four National Invitation Tournament titles. The Braves are working to extend a streak of four consecutive seasons with at least 21 wins, the longest active streak in the Missouri Valley Conference, and Bradley's 10 postseason wins the last four years are tied for the eighth-best total in the nation since 2006. In addition the men's soccer team won three consecutive Missouri Valley Conference championships from 2005-07 and advanced to the 2007 NCAA Tournament national quarterfinals, while the women's golf team has won four Valley championships the last 10 years and the softball team is coming off its first Missouri Valley Conference title and NCAA Tournament appearance.
Academically, Bradley student-athletes have led the Missouri Valley Conference in either federal graduation rate or NCAA Graduation Success Rate nine times in the last 10 years, posting a 93 percent GSR in the latest figures released by the NCAA last month.