Walters ’67 to Step Down as Director of Athletics

Athletic director Gary D. Walters ’67 will step down at the end of the 2013-14 academic year, his 20th at the helm of Princeton athletics, the University announced Sept. 4.

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Gary Walters ’67, seen here in 2007, has led Princeton athletics for nearly 20 years. (Photo: Beverly Schaefer)

Since 1994, Walters has overseen a remarkable string of on-field successes that include 214 Ivy League championships — the most by any school in that span — and 48 national team or individual titles.

“Gary Walters has made Princeton’s athletic program a model for the nation,” President Christopher L. Eisgruber ’83 said in a University news release. “His leadership has produced not only sustained competitive excellence, but, more importantly, a program that cares first and foremost about the education and character of the students who participate in it. At a time when many colleges have cynically abandoned the ideal of the scholar-athlete, Gary has upheld it with unstinting passion and energy.”

Walters has overseen notable additions and upgrades to the University’s athletic facilities, including the construction of Class of 1952 Stadium (1996), Princeton Stadium (1998), and Roberts Stadium (2008). He also has played a prominent national role in intercollegiate athletics, most notably as a member of the selection committee of the NCAA Division I men’s basketball tournament.

As an undergraduate, Walters helped the men’s basketball team win a pair of Ivy titles and reach the NCAA Final Four with Princeton’s 1964-65 team. He was a successful coach at Union, Dartmouth, and Providence colleges before leaving the sport in 1981 to work for the financial services firm Kidder, Peabody & Co.

A committee of faculty, administrators, alumni, coaches, and students will begin the search for the next athletic director this fall. Read more about Walters and his tenure in an upcoming issue of PAW.

One thought on “Walters ’67 to Step Down as Director of Athletics

  1. Robert Buntrock *67

    I was a chemistry grad student from ’62-’67 and enjoyed watching Gary Walters play in the Bill Bradley era. A couple of years ago, my Sports Psychologist daughter was interested in the effect of wight loss practices for athletes who needed to make weight for competition, wrestlers, gymnasts, etc. I encouraged her to contact Princeton because I was familiar with 150 lb football and crew via some of my students and their coaches. When I contacted the Princeton athletic department for further information, Gary responded himself and we had a pleasant exchange of e-mails. Sorry to see him leave, he’ll be missed.

    A couple of decades ago or so, Sports Illustrated, did a feature on the top 40 colleges and universities for athletics at all levels, varsity, intramural, gym facilities, etc. As I recall, Princeton ranked about no. 11, largely due to fielding the largest number of varsity teams as well as intramural programs and student involvement at all levels. The president was interviewed but I wonder if Gary was also involved.