OGDEN, Utah – Citing a desire to spend more time with his family, Jerry Graybeal surprised members of Wildcat Athletics today by announcing that he is stepping aside as athletic director at Weber State University.
While Graybeal will scale back his workload and obligations, he plans to remain involved with Wildcat Athletics. Graybeal will move to an administrative position that in part will help oversee the development of WSU athletics, especially improving the resource base for the department.
Graybeal has served as athletic director for four and a half years, first taking the helm on an interim basis in April 2005. Following a national search, Graybeal was named the permanent AD in September 2005.
“I’ve been a full-time coach or administrator in college athletics since 1979,” Graybeal said. “Anyone who’s been around athletics knows just how demanding those roles can be and the sacrifices you make—especially when it comes to family.”
Graybeal, 53, is the father of three children, ranging in age from 17 to four.
“My oldest daughter, Josie, is getting ready to head to college, and I’ve only seen two of her soccer games ever,” Graybeal said. “That, combined with my other two kids just starting to play competitively made me realize—I’d like to watch my kids play ball games.”
Graybeal said he’d been mulling the decision over much of the summer, torn between his role as father on the home front and his role as surrogate parent and mentor to the student-athletes in Wildcat Athletics. Graybeal said the AD job occupies his time six days a week, with a typical day easily running 12 to 13 hours and closer to 16 to 18 hours when there’s a night game.
“I’m especially proud of the back-to-back presidents’ cups Wildcat Athletics has earned these past two years,” Graybeal said. “That’s a testament to the hard work of our coaches and student-athletes and their ability to succeed both in the field of play and in the classroom.”
Norm Tarbox, vice president of Administrative Services, acknowledged Graybeal’s contributions to the athletic department during the past 12 years.
“Jerry Graybeal has been an asset to Weber State for a long time,” Tarbox said. “We are pleased that he will continue to help build Wildcat Athletics, albeit in a different capacity. His first task will be to help the university identify his successor.”
Tarbox has asked Jerry Bovee, assistant vice president for administrative support, to serve as interim athletic director.
Graybeal has nearly three decades worth of experience in the Big Sky Conference as an educator, coach and administrator. He served as head football coach from 1998 to 2004 and was named the 2003 Big Sky Conference Coach of the Year following an 8-4 campaign. Prior to joining the Wildcats, he spent 17 years as an assistant professor of physical education and assistant coach for the Eastern Washington University football team, including nine seasons as defensive coordinator.
Graybeal earned a bachelor’s degree in education from EWU.
Visit weber.edu/wsutoday for more news about Weber State University.
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