Central Washington Athletic Director to Retire
Bishop (being interviewed by ROOT Sports' Brad Adam)  played an instrumental role in a $13.2 million renovation of Nicholson Pavilion.
Bishop (being interviewed by ROOT Sports' Brad Adam) played an instrumental role in a $13.2 million renovation of Nicholson Pavilion.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

ELLESNBURG, Wash. - Central Washington University athletic director Jack Bishop has announced his retirement effective at the end of the upcoming academic year next June.

Bishop, 65, began his thirteenth year as CWU’s director of athletics on August 1. He says he will eventually return to Utah to be closer to his family.

“That’s one of the primary reasons for retiring now,” he said.

Bishop and his wife, Carol, have three grown children - sons Ryan and Brock, and daughter Jacqueline - and five grandchildren, with a sixth on the way, all living in Utah, along with Bishop’s mother. Earlier this year, he was inducted into the Utah Sports Hall of Fame.

“It was the greatest award I’ve received,” Bishop said. “I spent a lot of time in Utah, 32 years coaching high school and at the [Southern Utah] university in several different roles.”

Bishop is also a member of Utah’s Wasatch Wrestling Hall of Fame. From 1969-76, he was one of that state’s most successful high school wrestling, football, and track coaches. In addition, he’s the winningest football coach in history at his alma mater, Southern Utah University, and served as the school’s athletic director before coming to Central.

“It’s going to be very difficult to leave Ellensburg,” he acknowledges. “I’ve made a lot of great friends on campus and in the community. My hobbies (team roping and horses) and the friends I’ve made through that have been a big part of my life. I also feel a deep connection with this university. The passion that people have for Central has been very contagious.”

Among the on-campus accomplishments during his tenure, Bishop played an instrumental role in a four-phase, $13.2 million renovation of Nicholson Pavilion.

“If you weren’t here, you don’t realize how much actually went into that project,” Bishop said. “To get all new locker rooms, a new weight room, the gym facelift, new offices - to get our staff and coaches in one location, I think, changed the perception of our athletic program in a positive way.”

Since coming to CWU, Bishop has served on the NCAA Division II Football Championships Committee, and is currently the Great Northwest Athletic Conference representative on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Athletic Directors Association.

CWU President James L. Gaudino said, “When I was selected for the NCAA Division II President’s Council, it became very clear to me that I was selected because of Central and the outstanding intercollegiate athletic program we operate here. Jack gets a lot of credit for that.”

Gaudino also credited Bishop for completing CWU’s move from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics to NCAA Division II status during extremely challenging economic times.

 “Jack has always done an amazing amount with less money than most other programs have been given,” Gaudino said. “If you look at our win-loss record across all the sports, we do better per dollar than any other program in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, bar none.”

Bishop acknowledges, “We’ve come through some very tough financial times. The continuing challenge here will be travel - and the costs of travel - required of all of our teams to compete.”

Gaudino went on to say what he respects most about Bishop have nothing to do with funding, or wins-and-losses. It has to do with his perspective on the proper role of intercollegiate athletics.

 “Jack always puts the student above the sport,” Gaudino said. “He has always focused and placed the emphasis where it needs to be - on their success as students. As a president, you can’t ask more of your athletic director than that.”

While he says he’s satisfied that he’s leaving the CWU athletic department in good shape for the future, Bishop was quick to share the credit for that achievement.

“Who you’re surrounded by has a lot to do with your success,” he said. “I’ve been lucky to have good players, good coaches, good administrators, and good friends around me. It’s amazing what a group of people can do when they don’t care who gets the credit.” 

 A nationwide search for the next CWU athletic director will begin early next year.