Jim Norris, interim director of athletics, speaks at a news conference announcing that he will retire in December. "I have been nothing more than a spoke in the wheel and it's a very strong wheel," the 20-year University employee said.
Norris, interim director of athletics, to retire in DecemberTweet
University Interim Director of Athletics Jim Norris has announced he will retire at the end of the fall 2011 semester. Norris and University President C. Peter McGrath made the joint announcement May 3 in front of local media in the Events Center’s TAU Bearcat Room.
The advance notice allows Binghamton to immediately begin a national search for Norris’ successor.
“I want to thank the athletic department and the University for all they have done for me,” Norris said. “I have been nothing more than a spoke in the wheel and it’s a very strong wheel. Our department is in better shape than when I started here 20 years ago and is certainly better than it was two years ago when I was named the interim director. That is a tribute to the many fine coaches and staff that we have here at Binghamton University.”
Norris has served 20 years in a variety of capacities at the University, the last two as interim director of athletics. He is in his 11th year as a senior-level administrator, having previously served as a senior associate AD with direct oversight of 19 of Binghamton University’s 21 Division I sports teams.
In September 2009, Norris was pegged to take over as director of athletics and in the last two years, he has provided crucial stability and hands-on leadership to the program. A longtime Binghamton-area coach and active community member, Norris has reinvigorated Binghamton athletics with his inspirational “Making an Impact” theme. That directive encouraged the 450-plus members of the student-athlete body and staff to maintain personal integrity, strive for success in all areas and give back to the campus and community.
“I have been working with athletic directors for a long time during my career and I have never come across someone as good, effective and strong as Jim Norris,” Magrath said. “He is beloved in the community, not just because he is a fine human being but because of how strong of a person and a leader he is.”
Norris, 54, arrived to campus as an assistant men’s basketball coach in 1991 and has been instrumental in the transformation of the athletics department from a nondescript Division III program to the blossoming Division I program of today. He coached basketball for nine years, during which Binghamton enjoyed four of its most successful seasons in school history in terms of total wins. Norris then took the head coaching reigns during the transition to Division II and put the basketball program on a path to success.
After moving into athletics administration, Norris quickly gained a reputation as a highly organized professional who was a friend to all student-athletes. He also has been an unwavering advocate of the University and the athletics department at the conference, state and regional levels.
Norris has represented Binghamton in leadership roles within the America East and continues to serve as the “point person” for many committees and initiatives that are shaping the future of Binghamton University athletics.
Norris has more than 30 years of service to New York state, having worked previously for the City of Binghamton and Broome County.