|Position:||Director of Athletics|
Earl W. Edwards began his tenure as UC San Diego’s Director of Athletics in March of 2000. Recognized by his peers as one of collegiate athletics most innovative leaders, he has overseen impressive success.
Edwards has been Instrumental in the 23-sport program’s remarkable ascendance, elevating the Tritons from NCAA Division III status to a national Division II power, culminating in the university’s landmark Division I reclassification beginning in 2020.
Under his guidance, UC San Diego has been ranked among the nation’s top seven most successful Division II programs in in the annual Learfield Directors' Cup standings on 13 different occasions. In 2019, for the third time, UCSD was named national runner up. The Tritons have achieved four consecutive top-10 finishes since 2015.
His focus on the overall success of Triton scholar-athletes is reflected by a cumulative GPA which equals that of the general student body at one of the world’s leading universities. UC San Diego was ranked first among all Division II institutions in the last eight National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) Collegiate Power Rankings, which comprehensively measured student-athlete graduation rates, academic strength and athletic prowess.
Named an Athletic Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2006 and 2017, he has also served as president of the CCAA’s Executive Council. He is a 2016 recipient of the UC San Diego Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award.
Edwards has served on many national and regional committees and organizations throughout his career, including the NACDA Division II Board of Directors and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) Board of Directors. He is also an ex-officio board member of the National Association of Athletic Development Directors (NAADD) and has served as the organization's president.
Edwards was on NACDA's Executive Committee from 2003-07 and has been part of the Division II Management Council, the Division II Championships and Minority Opportunities and Interest Committee, the Walter Byers Scholarship Committee and the Committee for Women's Athletics. Highly respected for his visionary approach to collegiate athletics, he has authored articles on the student-athlete experience, financial management and evolving opportunities.
Edwards has built several new facilities and enhanced others during his Triton tenure. These include a major renovation of RIMAC arena, a softball stadium, a baseball stadium with clubhouse and a state-of-the-art strength and conditioning center that houses one of the country’s most advanced Athletics Performance Units powered by unique partnerships with academic units across campus.
His innovative cross-campus leadership has also included activation of a new partnership with UC San Diego Health that recently resulted in the university earning southern California’s first National Safe Sleep Hospital Certification.
Among his many accomplishments, reclassification to NCAA Division I athletics is at the forefront. Determined to emulate the university’s culture of world-class competitive excellence, Edwards led an effort that resulted in an undergraduate student body vote that overwhelmingly approved the ambitious move. On November 27, 2017, UC San Diego officially accepted an invitation to join the Big West Conference and will begin a four-year Division I reclassification period in 2020.
In the local community, Edwards serves on the board of directors for the Holiday Bowl, San Diego Sports Association and San Diego Sports Commission.
In addition to serving as Athletics Director at East Stroudsburg University and UC San Diego, he has athletics administration experience at the University of Massachusetts, UC Davis, the University of Michigan and Drexel University.
A 1972 graduate of East Stroudsburg, Edwards earned a bachelor's degree in Physical Education. He went on to receive a master's in Sports Administration from the University of Massachusetts in 1973.
Earl Edwards was named a 2017 NACDA Athletic
Director of the Year (Robb Cohen Photography & Video)