LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell University announced today that Jermaine Truax will be its next director of athletics & recreation. Truax (pronounced TRUE-axe) is currently Loyola University Chicago’s deputy director of athletics. He emerged as the leading candidate during a national search that began in February.
“Jermaine’s demonstrated leadership abilities, diverse administrative experience and commitment to a true student-athlete model positioned him as an exceptional candidate in what was an extremely competitive search,” said President John Bravman. “I am excited to see the ways in which he helps elevate what is already among the best Division I athletic programs in the country.”
“I am honored and excited by this incredible opportunity, and I would like to thank President Bravman and the members of the search committee for their confidence in me,” Truax said. “Bucknell and its student-athletes represent everything that is right about college athletics. There exists here a rare combination of both a great tradition of competing and winning in the arena of play, and, most important to me, first-rate academics.”
Truax’s leadership and vision have been widely recognized within collegiate athletics. In 2016, he was selected as one of 23 participants in the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) Pathway Program, which the NCAA describes as a yearlong experiential learning program for senior-level administrators. According to the NCAA, the program “provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics director needs.” Truax also holds the 2012 Rising Star Award, which the National Association for Athletics Compliance gives in recognition of young compliance professionals considered to be emerging leaders within the profession.
“Jermaine displayed a clear passion for mentorship, partnership, and providing transformative experiences for student-athletes," said Professor Linda Smolka, mathematics, who co-chaired the search committee and serves as Bucknell’s Faculty Athletics Representative. “Those attributes, along with his confidence, integrity and dogged work ethic, will no doubt contribute to Jermaine’s success in his new role and, in turn, benefit Bucknell as a whole.”
“As I spoke with Mr. Truax, it quickly became clear that he’s committed to ensuring every student-athlete at Bucknell has a high-quality experience,” added Meghan Kovac ’18, a Bucknell softball player and president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. “I am confident my fellow student-athletes will feel inspired by his leadership.”
In his current position, Truax oversees day-to-day operations of Loyola Chicago’s athletics department and serves as the sport administrator for all of its athletics programs including assisting with the administration of the men’s basketball team. Prior to his time at Loyola Chicago, he spent five years at Bowling Green State University, where he served as associate athletics director for compliance and administration. He also served as St. Bonaventure University’s director of compliance and coordinator of internal operations.
“Bucknell has made an excellent choice in selecting Jermaine Truax to lead Bison Athletics,” said Loyola’s Athletic Director Steve Watson. “His broad experience in college athletics as a student-athlete, coach and administrator has prepared him for this role at what is an outstanding academic and athletic institution. We greatly appreciate all he has done for us here at Loyola Chicago and are thrilled for the Truax family to have this exciting opportunity.”
“Steve has meant the world to me, and I will forever be grateful for his leadership, mentorship and friendship, all of which have contributed to my reaching this exciting moment,” Truax added. “I look forward to building similar, meaningful relationships with Bucknell’s student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff and with our passionate supporters in the University community and beyond.”
Truax succeeds John Hardt, who left Bucknell in January after 18 years to become the vice president and director of athletics at the University of Richmond. Truax will officially join Bucknell on July 1, 2018.
“I would like to thank the members of the search committee for their good work throughout this process; this is an extraordinary outcome,” Bravman said. “I’d also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Deputy Director of Athletics Tim Pavlechko '91 for serving as interim director of athletics & recreation so admirably these past few months. The Bucknell community is grateful for Tim’s commitment to the program and to our student-athletes.”
A return to Pennsylvania will be a bit of a homecoming for Truax, who played football at Edinboro University, where he earned a degree in health & physical education. He also holds a master of science degree in sport management from Slippery Rock University and is pursuing a doctorate in education from Bowling Green. Joining Jermaine in his move to the Lewisburg area will be his wife, Nimra, and their three children.
Truax will join a Bucknell program that competes in NCAA Division I as a member of the Patriot League and has full membership along with American, Army West Point, Boston University, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lafayette, Lehigh, Loyola Maryland and Navy. Bucknell has won the Presidents' Cup, signifying the Patriot League's all-sports champion, in 18 of 27 years and annually ranks among the nation’s best student-athlete graduation rate.
WHAT THEY ARE SAYING ABOUT JERMAINE TRUAX:
Porter Moser (Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Loyola University Chicago)
"Jermaine understands what it takes to run a successful program with integrity at an elite academic institution. He has built tremendous relationships since his arrival at Loyola Chicago that have increased support on numerous levels, and I am confident he will do the same at Bucknell University. While he will be missed, I could not be more excited for him. I look forward to seeing Bison Athletics under his leadership.”
Greg Christopher (Athletic Director, Xavier)
"Congratulations to Bucknell for hiring a rising star. In an industry that needs good people in leadership, Jermaine is someone who will make college athletics better. He has the perspective of a former student-athlete, with experience in virtually every facet of our profession. He’s more than ready for this opportunity, and it will be exciting to watch Jermaine lead Bucknell forward."
Barry Bimbi (Head Women’s Soccer Coach, Loyola University Chicago)
"Jermaine is a very detail-oriented person with great communication skills, and he always has the best interest of the student-athlete in mind. Bucknell University is getting a great leader and an even better person to lead their athletic department."
From Dino Babers (Head Football Coach, Syracuse)
"Jermaine is an outstanding selection to lead Bison Athletics. He is a talented athletics administrator who is passionate about the student-athlete experience. He will also support coaches at a high level as they pursue excellence within their programs. I am happy for Jermaine and his family to be joining Bucknell University where he is poised to lead its programs to new heights."
Kerrie Turner (Head Women’s Gymnastics Coach, Bowling Green)
"Jermaine was essential in athletics administration at Bowling Green State University and directly impacted my ability to improve and be effective as a head coach. In addition, his guidance helped our program become a premier gymnastics program in the Mid-American Conference. Jermaine excels in developing professional relationships within athletics, across campus and beyond due to his outstanding leadership skills and problem-solving mindset. He is the athletic administrator coaches hope to have the opportunity to work with during their coaching tenure. I am so pleased for Jermaine and his family. He continues to serve as a mentor, a resource and a friend."