BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College is looking back at the 2015-16 athletic campaign with the No. 7 story in Top 10 Stories – George Bright being named Director of Athletics and Recreation.
Bright was hired last summer and officially began his tenure with the Greyhounds on September 1. He came to Moravian after working at Lafayette College since 1993 as the Assistant Director of Athletics then Associate Director of Athletics.
"Moravian's rich, robust history of excellence in academic strength and athletic performance, as well as community outreach were a draw," stated Bright. "I am fortunate to have such a pedigree of terrific head coaches on staff. Mostly, to help student-athletes continue to excel and grow, especially in light of the enormous investments being made and discussed, as well as the enhancements that have been made in our facilities; it is a tremendous responsibility. It is a great opportunity to collaborate with the amazing campus staff to develop the whole student-athlete — inside and outside the classroom."
In his first year on the job, Bright saw Moravian post a 167-131-5 (55.9 percent) overall record with five Landmark Conference championships and 13 teams competing in the postseason including NCAA Division III Tournament appearances by the women's basketball and softball programs and a berth in the inaugural Centennial Conference-Middle Atlantic Conference Football Bowl Series. The Hounds also finished second in the Landmark Conference President's Trophy standings.
In the last year, the Greyhounds also had both men's and women's lacrosse programs return to varsity status with the men's squad recording the first 10-win season in school history and making the ECAC Division III South Tournament while the men's tennis team played in the ECAC Division III Outdoor Championship match for a second straight year.
Bright also saw Moravian's student-athletes excel individually with 106 All-Conference honorees, 104 Conference Academic Honor Roll selections, six conference Athletes of the Year, five conference Rookies of the Year, 26 All-Region honorees, two All-Americans and one CoSIDA Academic All-American. He also helped the Greyhounds sign a five-year contract with Schuylkill Valley Sports to outfit all of Moravian's teams in Under Armour apparel for game days and practice.
"We've had an incredible year one," Bright commented. "We've had tremendous success with our student-athletes performance in the classroom and on the athletic fields of play. We've built a state of the art competition venue as well as partner with many facets of our community. I enjoy working with President Bryon Grigsby, a special kind of leader. Moravian is fortunate to have someone of his stature here, someone who is so widely known for his exceptional record of success. There's no doubt his professional experience and leadership prowess will allow him to be among the best leaders our College has ever had."
In his first summer on the job, Bright has overseen the transformation of the natural grass HUB Quad field to the turf John Makuvek Field that will make its debut on September 1, 2016 under the new lights as the home for the field hockey, men's and women's soccer and men's and women's lacrosse teams.
"I think George's first year has been a transition year for everyone," noted Associate Athletics Director, Senior Women's Administrator and Head Women's Basketball Coach Mary Beth Spirk. "He hit the ground running starting in the middle of fall preseason and jumping right into the new school year. He has been able to adapt well to his position even though there were times that he had to learn in a hurry on life in the Athletic Department. George has had a solid first year, is well liked by the athletes and his staff and is already making his mark on the college in general."
As Bright enters his second year at Moravian and looks to the future, he sees more challenges.
"As a leader, I look to demonstrate a keen ability to identify and implement strategies aimed at elevating the entire Department of Athletics and Recreation," Bright said. "To build and inspire our coaches and teams, but most importantly, positively impact the lives of our student-athletes. This is a new day in the life of the Department of Athletics and I will continue to collaborate with our talented coaches and staff to bring bold visions to fruition."
You can read the original story at http://moraviansports.com/information/news/2015-16/20150810o8kav5.
Story number six of the countdown will be released on Wednesday, August 10.