Broncos Athletics

From the Director's Chair With Cheryl Levick

Summer, 2003

Last October, former University of Indiana president Myles Brand was named the executive director of the NCAA. Since that time, he has spoken at length about long-range, comprehensive, strategic planning for the organization. We welcome the opportunity to influence the NCAA in order to meet the needs of student-athletes for decades to come.

Last April, I was asked to serve on the NCAA Strategic Planning Group for Division I. This group met initially to discuss NCAA core ideology, the Association's envisioned future, assumptions about the relevant future and the top-level issues that face the NCAA.

Currently, we are in the first of a four-phase process that will provide the basis for the strategic plan. The four phases are: Phase I - Data Collection; Phase 2 - Direction Setting & Strategy; Phase 3 - Strategy Development; and Phase 4 - Internal Analysis & Implementation Strategy.

In his first State of the Association address in December, Brand said: "In order to march down the road, we need a road map. That map is the strategic plan. Through an inclusive, timely, value-driven process, I propose we develop strategic directions that will lead to our goals."

This "road map" is not intended to serve as an annual operating plan. Rather, it is intended to set a course of action that will influence the way decisions are made as well as help provide a foundation for the future that will affect the way college athletics is viewed on every campus in the country at every level.

Three years ago, we spent a significant amount of time charting our own "road map" for Santa Clara Athletics. We used many of the same principles as this NCAA planning group is utilizing.

We took an extensive look at the past, present and future of Bronco athletics and formed a plan that provided every coach and administrator a set of expectations and goals. Each objective was considered attainable, although many were viewed as audacious and, perhaps, a little far-fetched.

A few months ago, University administrators conducted a thorough analysis of every campus departments' goals and objectives to ensure they are consistent with the institution's direction and mission. At that time, we reviewed the athletic goals and objectives that we set three years ago.

We were pleased to realize that the course our staff set nearly three years ago has remained on target. Despite a few financial setbacks related to the depressed economy, we are continuing down the path to make Santa Clara Athletics a model athletic program that provides a first-class experience for its student-athletes both on and off the field.

I continue to be excited about the progress we have made and will continue to make at Santa Clara. We have a staff of coaches and administrators that are committed to making Bronco athletics the best it can possibly be. We have student-athletes that graduate at a rate that is the second highest among Division I institutions in the state of California, while achieving team and individual athletic success. They continually win conference, regional and national awards for athletic and academic excellence and serve as outstanding representatives of this institution.

I suspect my tenure on the NCAA's Strategic Planning Group will provide a wealth of knowledge on how the national organization will move forward in the future. However, just as important will be confirmation that our department's direction is on solid ground and will continue to follow our "road map" to long-term success.

If you are interested in the NCAA's strategic planning initiative, please visit the organization's website at

Go Broncos!