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Legendary Pac-12 associate commissioner Chris Dawson to retire

Jun 26, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO – Pac-12 Associate Commissioner of Sport Management Chris Dawson will retire at the end of the 2018-19 academic year after dedicating more than 40 years to Pac-12 collegiate athletics. Dawson is widely regarded as a pioneer for women’s collegiate athletics and championing the student-athlete experience.

She spent over 18 years overseeing the administration of various Pac-12 Olympic and women’s sports, including women’s basketball, softball, men’s soccer and beach volleyball. Before joining the Pac-12, she spent 23 years at the University of California, Berkeley as the associate athletic director for sport programs and senior woman administrator from 1992 to 2001. She was named assistant athletic director for the Cal women’s athletic department in 1989 after previously serving as sports information director for from 1979-89.

“Chris has been one of the most inspirational and dedicated leaders at the Pac-12. She is a humble role model who has committed her life’s work to the advancement of women’s sports and the student-athlete experience,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “We will all miss Chris deeply, but we could not be prouder of the accomplishments and long-lasting impact she has had on college athletics.”

Dawson has served on numerous NCAA committees and cabinets, including on the NCAA Division I Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid Cabinet; NCAA Championships and Competition Cabinet, where she was chair; NCAA Strategic Planning Cabinet; NCAA Soccer Rules Committee; NCAA Woman of the Year Committee; and the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Committee, and the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee, which she joined in 2011.

“Chris has done so much to help women’s basketball grow and thrive all over the country,” said Stanford women’s basketball head coach Tara VanDerveer. “It has been a pleasure and honor to have worked with her for so many years.”

She was appointed to the chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee during the 2015-16 academic year. In February of 2015, Dawson was awarded Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Administrator of the Year award, presented annually to an administrator, athletic director, associate or assistant athletic director, or senior woman administrator who has excelled at encouraging the growth and quality of women’s basketball programs and women’s athletic programs overall.

"We celebrate Chris’ career as she has been a calm and confident leader for all of us in the Pac-12,” said UCLA softball head coach Kelly Inouye-Perez. “Chris had the ability to shape all of our voices into one clear message. I thank her for her commitment to excellence in the best conference in the country.”

Dawson is a 1975 honors graduate of the University of Virginia where she was a student-athlete on the first women’s basketball team at UVA. She earned a master’s degree in education, with emphasis in sport administration from Ohio University in 1979.

Dawson’s duties will be assumed by Teresa Gould, who was hired as the Conference’s Senior Associate Commissioner, Sports Management and Institutional Services in July of 2018.

About the Pac-12 Conference
The Conference has a tradition as the “Conference of Champions,” leading the nation in NCAA Championships in 53 of the last 59 years, with 526 NCAA team titles overall. The Conference comprises 12 leading U.S. universities - the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Berkeley, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Colorado, the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Southern California, the University of Utah, the University of Washington and Washington State University. For more information on the Conference’s programs, member institutions, and Commissioner Larry Scott, go to​