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News, Sports

Director of Athletics Jack Hayes steps down

Hayes will become senior adviser to Bruin Sports Capital, Colin Sullivan will serve as interim AD

Sports Editor
Friday, January 29, 2021

Jack Hayes joined the University in 2012, and will step down to join Bruin Sports Capital.

Director of Athletics Jack Hayes will leave his position at the University, effective Feb. 5, to become a senior adviser to Bruin Sports Capital and “pursue new opportunities,” according to a Friday press release. 

Deputy Director of Athletics Colin Sullivan will serve as interim athletic director while Brown conducts a nationwide search for a new AD. Hayes has been Brown’s athletic director since 2012 and previously served as the athletic director at Hofstra University for eight years. 

“Jack truly embraces the ideal of the scholar-athlete,” said President Christina Paxson P’19 in a Friday press release. “Brown Athletics under his leadership has embodied a commitment to cultivating a climate where athletic competition and academic achievement form the core of the student-athlete experience to promote real personal growth and leadership.”

Vice President for Campus Life Eric Estes echoed Paxson’s praise. “Jack led robust fundraising that enabled $50 million in important facilities upgrades during his time at Brown, which will benefit our student-athletes for generations to come,” Estes said in the press release. Estes also highlighted Hayes’ role in recent athletic successes, including the men’s lacrosse team’s Final Four berth in 2016 and the Ivy League Championship won by the women’s soccer team in 2019

Hayes will continue his career in the sports industry at Bruin Sports Capital, an “entertainment and media company that specializes in working with capital partners and management teams to build best-in-class global leaders that deliver consistent growth and measurable returns,” according to the company’s website. The CEO of Bruin Sports Capital, George Pyne ’88 P’20 P’21, is an alum who played on the football team during his time at Brown. 

Sullivan will be prepared to act as Brown’s interim athletic director, having previously served as the athletic director at fellow Rhode Island school Salve Regina University. He has also been an assistant track and cross country coach at Iona College, and has held multiple administrative positions at Marist College. “He brings a working knowledge of all facets of intercollegiate athletics,” Hayes has said of Sullivan in a statement on the Brown Athletics website.

Sullivan will immediately face the challenge of guiding Brown Athletics through the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying restrictions on athletic activities.

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  1. Let’s be clear- Jack Hayes failed at his job. He did not properly allocate or manage resources correctly and the result was cutting multiple sports which ended the collegiate athletic careers for 100s of current and future student athletes at Brown as well as their coaches. These students and coaches paid the price for his inadequacies. His legacy will be exactly what it was at Hofstra- a complete disappointment.

  2. The so-called “Excellence in Athletics” initiative was not only a failure but a disgrace for Brown. With AD Jack Hayes’ departure, the University clearly recognizes it as such. Now Brown’s leadership needs to own up to its actions, reverse the initiative by reinstating cut teams and then conduct a fair, fact-based analysis of Athletics that includes engaging members of its athletic community.

    • Dartmouth did just that today and reinstated the 5 teams they cut along with an apology to the student athletes and their families and a commitment to a more fact based inclusive analysis of the athletic community.

      • Students first says:

        I wish President Paxson would follow Dartmouth’s lead. The Initiative was badly flawed and it has cost Brown its reputation and caused many to question the leadership capability and competence of President Paxson. The Initiative should be abandoned, the teams should be reinstated and a new and fully inclusive and transparent study commissioned. Hayes obviously knows this initiative was a mistake and was likely pushed out or simply recognized that the Initiative was a major blunder that was not worth defending. I fear President Paxson’s pride stands in the way of Brown doing the right thing .

        • Hayes probably doesn’t care that his initiative was a mistake. He’s got himself a nice cushy new job at what appears to be a private equity/financial sponsor so he’s good to go and he can leave others to deal with the negative externalities he created.

  3. Hit the road Jack and don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Whoever hired this jamoke should be shown the door as well.

  4. Hayes had his favorite sports programs at Brown, Football, Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Lacrosse and Women’s Soccer after they won the Ivy. He was the quintessential jock sniffer for those programs. All the other Coaches knew this and hated him because he had no use for them. He fired the long time Squash coach on a Zoom call! Brown became a DIII athletic school under his stewardship. Hey Jack, the 80’s called, they want your pleated pants and wing tips back.

  5. Good riddance! Infected with “ESPNitis” Jack had no idea what collegiate sports is about. He should listen to the podcast from the Women’s Fencing Team last evening. This was a team that he cut and then was restored. These women did not tout their own individual accomplishments but spoke about commraderie and working hard as a team to lift Brown Athletics. That is the essence of amateur sports, something Jack Hayes will never understand as demonstrated by his new career choice.

    • He may have had “ESPNitis” and may be a jock sniffer but it’s not like he showed up one day and took over the athletics department unannounced. Somebody up on College Hill looked at his record at Hofstra and said “yeah, Jack Hayes is the guy we want!”

  6. Ed Golash – couldn’t agree more! Jack Hayes (and the other leaders of the “Excellence” in Athletics Initiative) also completely disregarded the fact that Brown’s Men’s and Women’s Varsity Squash teams have been awarded the Team Sportsmanship Award, in a vote by all their peers in college squash, a total of 6 times – more than any other program – and as recently as 2020.

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