Nov. 1, 2005
Former Stanford football coach Bill Walsh will serve as interim athletics director while the university conducts its search for a permanent director, university officials announced Tuesday.
Athletics Director Ted Leland announced last month that he will step down from the position at the beginning of next year to become vice president for university advancement at the University of the Pacific. Stanford will name a search committee for Leland's successor this fall, but Provost John Etchemendy said he expects the search will take several months at the very least.
"We are delighted that Coach Walsh has agreed to lead the department on a temporary basis," Etchemendy said. "Bill's experience and skills as a coach and business manager are without parallel. But even more important, his tenure at Stanford has shown that he places a high value on the critical importance of academics in the success of our athletics program. We are fortunate and grateful that he has agreed to take on this important role on an acting basis."
Walsh teaches a class at Stanford's Graduate School of Business and has served as a special assistant to Leland since 2004.
"It's been a privilege to work with Coach Walsh and I'm thrilled that he has agreed to again serve Stanford in this meaningful way," Leland said. "His role will be especially important in making the football stadium project a success."
Walsh served as Stanford's head football coach on two occasions--from 1977 to 1978 and from 1992 to 1994. He was an assistant coach at Stanford from 1963 to 1965. He was appointed head coach of the San Francisco 49ers in 1979, and under his leadership the 49ers won three Super Bowl championships. Walsh served the 49ers as vice president and general manager from 1999 to 2001. He was elected to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1993.
Etchemendy said the university plans to have its new athletics director hired by the start of the next academic year.