LEWISBURG, Pa. – John Hardt, who served as Bucknell University’s director of athletics and recreation since February of 2000, was announced today as the next vice president and director of athletics at the University of Richmond. Hardt will officially begin his duties at Richmond on January 1, 2018.
The second-longest-tenured AD in University history, Hardt led with a student-centered philosophy and with a determination to uphold Bucknell’s scholar-athlete tradition.
“During his 17-year tenure, John has had a profound impact on Bison athletics, helping evolve our Division I program into one of the most respected in the country,” said President John Bravman. “I am especially grateful for his dedication to our scholar-athletes both in the arena of play and, most importantly, in the classroom. On behalf of Bucknellians everywhere, I thank John for his commitment to Bucknell and our students, and I wish him all the best in this new and exciting opportunity.”
Hardt accomplished a great deal at the helm of Bucknell’s successful 27-sport varsity athletics program. He kept Bucknell at the head of the class in the Patriot League, both on the playing fields and in the classroom. From Presidents’ Cups to Academic All-Americans to league championships to leading the nation in student-athlete graduation rate, Hardt was able to build on the proud heritage of Bison Athletics.
Hardt oversaw a robust facilities boon, highlighted by the 2002 addition of the Kenneth G. Langone Athletics and Recreation Center as the centerpiece of Bison Athletics. Hardt cultivated a number of multi-million-dollar gifts, and his reconfigured Bison Club has achieved significant growth, with a record $2.7 million in receipts in the 2016-17 fiscal year. He has negotiated landmark deals area of apparel (adidas), marketing (Bucknell Sports Properties/Learfield) and sports medicine (Geisinger Sports Medicine).
One of Hardt’s proudest achievements was the successful launch of the Bucknell Athletics Leadership Institute in 2012. Another “value-added” program designed to give Bison student-athletes a comprehensive four-year experience that extends beyond the playing fields, the Leadership Institute is now under the direction of a full-time coordinator and impacts each of the more than 700 student-athletes at Bucknell.
At Richmond, Hardt will oversee a 17-sport program that competes in the Atlantic 10 in most sports. The Spiders’ football team participates in the Colonial Athletic Association, the women’s golf program competes in the Patriot League, and men’s lacrosse is an associate member of the Southern Conference.
President Bravman announced that deputy director of athletics Tim Pavlechko ’91 will serve as interim director of athletics and recreation. A national search will soon be launched to identify Hardt’s successor.