Athletic director’s contract renewed through 2019
Jim Schmidt, director of athletics since 1997, received a five-year contract extension through January 2019.
Under Schmidt’s direction, UIC teams have advanced to NCAA postseason competition 52 times, with 87 combined regular season and postseason conference championships.
“Jim Schmidt, along with his coaching and support staffs in our 20 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports, have helped our UIC student-athletes rise to new heights on the field of competition, in the classroom, in their post-college careers, and in the hearts of their fellow classmates and alumni,” said Chancellor Paula Allen-Meares.
“Flames athletics plays a large and increasing role in student life at UIC, for our student-athletes and fans alike. We look forward to more successes under Jim’s continued leadership.”
“I’m excited to continue as director of athletics during this period of change and growth for athletics,” said Schmidt, the longest-tenured athletic director in the Horizon League.
“The next five years will be challenging. The Division I landscape is quickly moving in a new direction, but I am honored to be here and focused on the future. We have excellent coaches to lead us forward, and the administration has a great vision for UIC in the future and has been very supportive.”
Under Schmidt’s direction, UIC had its first NCAA bids for men’s basketball, men’s soccer, women’s tennis and baseball.
The men’s soccer program has been ranked as high as fourth nationally and advanced to the 2007 NCAA Elite Eight. The baseball team won 10 of its last 14 league regular-season championships and advanced to NCAA regional play four times since 2003. The women’s tennis team established itself as a dynasty by winning an unprecedented 17-consecutive League titles and making 15-straight NCAA tournament appearances.
Over the last five semesters, UIC student-athletes have averaged a 3.0 GPA. The latest NCAA reports list UIC Athletics’ overall graduation success rate at 84 percent, above the Division I national average of 80 percent.
UIC now offers 10 women’s sports, with golf added in 2010 and women’s soccer in fall 2014.
Schmidt joined the Flames as a pitching coach in 1982, then moved to marketing/promotions and sports information before he became associate athletic director in 1987.