Athletic Director Signs New Contract
Posted: May 15, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am
George Mason President Alan Merten has extended the contract of Director of Athletics Tom O’Connor through 2012. O’Connor is in his 12th year at Mason and his fourth decade in NCAA Division I athletics.
“We are pleased that Tom has agreed to maintain his tenure with George Mason. He has proved a very valuable member of our community,” says Merten.
“Under his leadership, our athletic program has achieved great distinction. He has also helped build a strong bridge between athletics and our academic programs. This synergy has been one of our institution’s proudest achievements.”
Two of the athletic programs are coming off tremendous seasons in which they were in the national spotlight. The men’s basketball team completed the best season in school history, making their first-ever trip to the NCAA Final Four and first by any Colonial Athletic Association school. Mason finished the season ranked eighth in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, the highest-ever ranking for Mason.
The men’s volleyball team was nationally ranked throughout the season. The Patriots were unbeaten at home, and senior Shaun Powell was selected a Division I-II First-Team All-American.
“In extending my contract, the university’s administration has shown a tremendous amount of support and confidence in our athletic program,” says O’Connor. “I’ve always said that George Mason is a great community, a great fit for me and my family and the place I would like to retire.
“With the backing of the university administration, I intend to fulfill that goal. I’m proud that Dr. Merten is pleased with the direction of the athletic program and the success we have achieved both on and off the playing field. We have grown together as a university, and I’m eager to capture the endless opportunities still in front of us.”
O’Connor is currently in his second year of a five-year term on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee. He has held a seat on the prestigious Management Council and was a member of the Division I Strategic Planning Committee and the Selection Review Committee.
He was involved with the NCAA restructuring process as a member of the business/finance cabinet, and he served a term as a member of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Rules Committee in September 1997.
He has been a member of the Executive Council of the NACDA Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association. He completed a two-year term as the president of the Colonial Athletic Association on July 1, 2004.
The 59-year-old O’Connor earned a BA degree in 1968 from Assumption College in Massachusetts, where he was a four-year basketball letter winner. He is a member of the Assumption College Athletic Hall of Fame. He received the Pathfinder Award at the New England Basketball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in September 2005.