Athletic Director, University of California, San Diego
Earl W. Edwards accepted the position of Director of Athletics at UC San Diego in March of 2000. Since his arrival, UCSD Athletics has consistently been recognized at the national level for its academic and athletic achievements.
Under his guidance, the 23-sport program has made a very successful transition from the NCAA Division III ranks to Division II. In fact, UC San Diego has surpassed all expectations at the DII level, capturing women's soccer national championships in both 2000 and 2001 and the softball national title in 2011.
Since moving to Division II for the 2000-01 academic year, UC San Diego has been ranked among the top seven programs in the country in the annual Learfield Directors' Cup standings on 12 different occasions. In 2004 and again in 2007, UCSD was the national runner up. In 2016, the school placed third in the country, followed by a fourth-place showing in 2017.
UC San Diego has also won seven California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Commissioners' Cup titles, an award that recognizes the best overall athletics program in the prestigious conference. The Tritons are currently on a two-year run, winning in 2016 and 2017.
Additionally, UCSD has been ranked first among all Division II institutions in the last eight National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Collegiate Power Rankings, which comprehensively measure student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess. Listed in the NCSA's rankings for the 10th consecutive year in 2014 (the last year of the rankings), UC San Diego placed 12th of all schools in the country. In 2007, UCSD garnered its highest national ranking, coming in at No. 4.
Edwards has built several new facilities and enhanced others during his tenure, including a softball stadium, a baseball stadium and clubhouse and a strength and conditioning center. Triton Track and Field Stadium was updated with a video scoreboard and pole vault terraces.
In 2016, UC San Diego's undergraduate student body voted overwhelmingly in favor to move the institution's athletics program to NCAA Division I. On November 27, 2017, UC San Diego officially accepted an invitation to join the Big West Conference and will begin a four-year Division I reclassification period in 2020. Read the full press release here.
In March of 2017, Edwards was named one of 28 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Athletics Directors of the Year. In 2007, Edwards was named the West Region Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA.
Edwards has served on many national and regional committees and organizations throughout his career, including the NACDA Division II Board of Directors and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) Board of Directors. Edwards is also an ex-officio board member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and has served as the organization's president. In addition, he is a member of the CCAA's Executive Council.
Edwards was on NACDA's Executive Committee from 2003-07 and has been part of the Division II Management Council, the Division II Championships and Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee, the Walter Byers Scholarship Committee and the Committee for Women's Athletics.
Edwards has published several articles in Athletic Management and was featured on the cover of the June 2007 issue.
In the San Diego community, Edwards serves on the board of directors for San Diego Bowl Games, San Diego Sports Innovators and La Jolla Rotary and is a member of the Sports Alliance Executive Committee.
In addition to working as Athletics Director at East Stroudsburg University and UC San Diego, he has athletics administration experience at the University of Massachusetts, UC Davis, the University of Michigan and Drexel University.
A 1972 graduate of East Stroudsburg, Edwards earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Education. He went on to receive a master's in Sports Administration from the University of Massachusetts in 1973.
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