The 2012 LionsFund Golf Classic and Dinner Auction.
In 2011-2012, Loyola Marymount University will celebrate its Centennial, bringing to a close its first 100 years on the bluff. Within the athletic department, the last 14 years of that history has been led by Dr. William S. Husak, who was hired as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics in 1998.
Those final 14 years just happen to be the most prolific as Husak leads the Lions into a new century that will be as focused as ever on his mission of winning championships, achieving success in the classroom through graduating all student-athletes in four years and helping them grow as individuals as they move on to the next stages of their life.
Since 1998, LMU has seen its most overall success in school history as the Lions have won over 58 percent of its dual competitions in that span and claimed 30 of its overall 43 conference championships (among sports currently sponsored by LMU within NCAA Division I competition) and 39 of its 61 NCAA postseason appearances.
Off the field, the Lions continue to rank among the best in the West Coast Conference and in the west in the NCAA's APR and Graduation Rate, and in 2010-11, a record 225 student-athletes claimed the National Academic Honors.
In 2010-11, the program continued to add to its history with:
Its first-ever conference championship in men's soccer while men's water polo earning its eighth conference title in 10 years and their fourth in a row.
Tibor Forai and Andy Stevens (men's water polo) earned their fourth straight All-American honors, becoming the first student-athletes in school history to win the honor all four years of competition.
Tara Erdmann became the first student-athlete to win All-American honors in three different sports (cross country, indoor track, outdoor track) and went on to be the first runner to compete for a national championship in two events in the 2011 NCAA Track and Field Championships. She added two more All-American honors, giving her five in the last 12 months.
Tibor Forai was awarded a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in the Fall of 2010 and then went on to earn Second-Team CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. He was the 10th LMU Student-Athlete to earn that honor, the fifth since 2000. He gives the Lions back-to-back seasons with an Academic All-American for the first time, joining last year's winner Jennifer Nayudu from softball.
Brian Locke, who was a two-time All-American golfer at LMU, became the first Lion to qualify for a major golf championship, playing in the 2011 U.S. Open.
Anthony Ireland of men's basketball became the first freshman from the men's hoops program to earn an All-American honor, claiming Mid-Major Freshman All-American honors.
Husak attributes the success that has come on the field and classroom from the commitment to athletics from the University as a whole and people within it.
"It is people that make up this University and this Athletics Department so special," said Husak. "It is everyone as a team that makes us successful. It is everyone here at LMU that allows us to have the success and growth we have seen the last 14 years. It is all about the people. It is why LMU is a very special place."
Since he took over the program, the coaching and administrative staffs that lend support to the more than 450 student-athletes has more than doubled in size with the addition of assistant coaches, support staff and the transition from part-time to full-time coaches. A full-time head coach will lead 19 of the varsity sports sponsored at LMU. When Husak took over, only nine of the programs were led by full-time head coach.
In addition, support for the student-athletes was enhanced with the addition of 14 brand new staff positions since 2000, which included two athletic academic support staff members, marketing/promotions manager, ticket manager, corporate relations manager, three assistant athletic trainers, two strength and conditioning assistant coaches, a assistant compliance director and two media relations staff members.
The final major piece to LMU Athletics' growth and success has been through the University's commitment to facilities. Since he has taken over, $25 million has been put into athletic facilities. That list includes the brand new Lions' Athletic Center, the Leavey Center, the Burns Aquatics Center and Smith Field to name a few.
The new Lions' Athletic Center includes the 6,000-square foot Chad and Ginni Dreier Strength and Conditioning Center, the new hub of activity of student-athletes. In addition, the Burns Center was used as host to the 2002 and 2006 NCAA Men's Water Polo Championships. It has been the only time LMU has hosted an NCAA championship.
As for the Leavey Center, it houses the offices and team suite areas of all sports except the aquatics programs, who are in the Burns Center. The University dedicated more than 7,000 square feet within the Center for the Athletics Department, giving the 21 programs top-of-the-line offices and work space.
Facility enhancements have also included the Thomas Higgins Short Game Center (golf), the Morris A. Pivaroff and George P. Kading Tournament Court (tennis), and the Jane Browne Bove Boathouse. LMU's existing facilities have also seen their share of growth, including new bleachers and scoreboard to Sullivan Field (soccer), Mikos Blue Monster and Pride Park to Page Stadium (baseball), and a new sound system, floor design and bleachers in Gersten Pavilion.
In addition, the lobby and restrooms within Gersten Pavilion are currently being renovated and plans for the next 18 months include new locker room suites in Gersten Pavilion, including new state-of-the-art areas for men's and women's basketball.
Husak comes from a long and accomplished background as an administrator, fundraiser and professor during a 19-year career at California State University, Long Beach. Between 1993-1998, he served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director and was mainly responsible for Athletics fundraising. While at CSULB between 1983 and 1997, Husak served as an assistant commissioner for the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). Between 1986 and 1993 he served as chairman of CSULB's physical education department. As an associate professor of physical education at CSULB between 1979 and 1986, he established the university's Motor Behavior Laboratory.
A 1972 graduate of State University of New York (SUNY) at Cortland, Husak holds a master's degree and Ph.D. in Physical Education from Texas A&M University. He and his wife of 40 years, Tish, live in Long Beach and have three married sons and two grandsons.