After a successful run with Huskie Athletics at the University of Saskatchewan (USask), Dave Hardy will be stepping down as chief athletics officer (CAO).
“The world has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and university athletics was by no means spared,” said Hardy, who took on the role of CAO in August of 2019 for a term of up to two years and has committed to staying on until his replacement is found. “The road to recovery is going to be a long one and I feel it is in the best interest of Huskie Athletics to have long-term leadership in place. I have been proud to have had the chance to contribute to the university’s storied athletic program during these challenging times, however I feel that it is the right time to begin the search for a new CAO.”
Debra Pozega Osburn, Vice President, University Relations, and a member of the Huskie Athletics Board of Trustees, said Hardy has served the university well during his tenure with Huskie Athletics.
“We are grateful for the leadership, experience and passion that Dave has brought to the Huskie Athletics program,” Pozega Osburn said. “He has built both success for the program and momentum for the future. His commitment to excellence has made a difference. It’s been a real privilege to work with him in the time that he has served as CAO.”
Chad London, Dean of Kinesiology and vice-chair of the Huskie Board, noted that Hardy’s leadership has been particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The global pandemic has affected all universities and all athletic departments across the country, and we have been thankful to have had Dave’s steady hand leading the department through this extraordinary period in the university’s history,” London said. “Huskie Athletics has been in good hands and is well-positioned for our new CAO to take the program to the next level.”
Hardy, a USask alumnus and former member of the Huskie men’s basketball program, brought extensive senior-level leadership experience to Huskie Athletics as a successful academic administrator, fundraiser and former high-performance coach. A member of the Saskatoon and Saskatchewan Sports Halls of Fame, Hardy prioritized improving student-athlete experience and supports, helping enhance the high-performance culture, as well as strengthening student and community engagement, pride and profile.
The former superintendent in the Saskatoon Catholic School Board helped guide Huskie Athletics through a transition period, all while remaining focused on the mission of the department to be the No.1 athletics program in the country. Giving student-athletes a louder voice in decision-making processes, setting new attendance records and having all 15 teams qualify for post-season play for the first time in department history were all accomplished during Hardy’s tenure. Hardy played an integral role in continuing to establish Huskie Athletics as one of the premier programs in the country, with student-athletes excelling on the field, court and ice, as well as in the classroom.
USask is now launching a nation-wide search to identify Hardy’s successor.
“It has been an honour to have had the opportunity to serve the university in this role,” said Hardy. “I would like to thank USask, the Board of Trustees, the coaches and our student-athletes for allowing me this privilege to contribute to a historic program that we are all so passionate about. With the continued support of USask Senior Leadership, our alumni, the student body and the greater Saskatoon community I feel strongly that Huskie Athletics is positioned well for the future.”