Loyola University Chicago

Loyola University Chicago

University Newsroom


Media Contact:
Bill Behrns
Sports Information Director, Athletics

M. Grace Calhoun Named Director of Athletics

CHICAGO, February 19, 2011 – M. Grace Calhoun, PhD, who has served as the Associate Athletic Director for Academic and Student Engagement at Indiana University for the last six years, has been named Director of Athletics at Loyola University Chicago, it was announced today. Calhoun, a nationally respected and veteran administrator who has held leadership positions at a handful of NCAA Division I institutions and conferences, will assume her new post on April 1.

“I am honored and humbled to serve as Loyola University Chicago’s next Director of Athletics, and want to thank Dr. Robert Kelly, vice president of student development, and President Michael Garanzini, S.J., for entrusting me with this important responsibility,” said Calhoun. “As someone who believes passionately in the powerful role intercollegiate athletics can play in a university’s living and learning community, I felt an immediate connection to Loyola, its Jesuit tradition, and its people. I am excited not only to lead a department that will partner with the University community to deliver more integrated, holistic, and transformational educations for Loyola’s student-athletes and students alike, but I also look forward to beginning an exciting new era of Rambler athletics, featuring nationally competitive teams, enhanced visibility, and increased community and alumni support of the program.”

At Indiana, Calhoun oversees all academic and student development initiatives and heads up Indiana’s Excellence Academy, an innovative student-development program, which integrates athletics and university resources to define, measure, and assess student learning. Additionally, she has fulfilled the duties of Senior Woman Administrator, directed compliance and eligibility, managed conference and NCAA governance for the university, overseen the student-athlete admissions process and athletics scholarship budget, directed major projects and strategic initiatives, and served as a sport administrator.

Also a prominent figure on the national scene, Calhoun has chaired the NCAA Research Committee, as well as the NCAA’s Awards, Benefits, Expenses and Financial Aid cabinet, one of eight primary governance bodies for Division I. Calhoun successfully guided a two-year national student-athlete welfare initiative, concluding with the adoption of a financial aid reform package by the NCAA membership this past January. She has also been active in national academic and compliance reform initiatives. Calhoun served on numerous NCAA and Big Ten committees and in 2009 she was presented with the NACWAA Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award.

“Grace has the experience, education and expertise to build the kind of athletics program here at Loyola that will ignite the city of Chicago,” Loyola Vice President for Student Development Dr. Robert Kelly said. “I am thrilled to welcome Grace, her husband Jason and their children, to the Loyola family and am excited to have her get started.”

Calhoun also honed her craft at Dartmouth College where she served as the Associate Director of Athletics for Administration and Compliance/Special Assistant to the Director of Athletics from 2002-05. Her responsibilities there included managing NCAA and Ivy League eligibility and rules compliance programs, managing NCAA Certification and major departmental projects, and building partnerships within the campus, among other duties.

Prior to her appointment at Dartmouth, Calhoun was the Associate Executive Director of the Patriot League, coordinating governance work for the conference, managing coaches’ groups, directing championships and overseeing compliance and student-services programs. From 1997-98, she held the position of Assistant Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pa.

Calhoun is a magna cum laude graduate of Brown University, where she earned a degree in electrical engineering and was a member of the track and field team. She received both a master’s degree in exercise and sport sciences and a PhD in higher education administration from the University of Florida, where she got her start in athletics administration from 1993-97. She also holds a MBA from Lehigh University.

Calhoun and her husband Jason, a PGA golf professional, have three children – Alexandra, Madeline and Eleanor.

Loyola Chicago-Named M. Grace Calhoun, PhD, director of athletics

# Loyola: Preparing people to lead extraordinary lives #


“Loyola University Chicago has made an inspired hire! Their ability to attract one of the brightest and most competent athletic administrators in the country speaks volumes for the institution and the future of their athletic program. Grace will work collaboratively with all facets of the campus community from the campus leadership and Board to the faculty, staff, students and alums. She is very thoughtful in her approach and has overcome some challenging circumstances in her personal and professional life that give her both compassion and toughness. It is always rewarding to witness the advancement of ethical and capable leaders to positions that allow them to positively affect the lives of our student-athletes. Congratulations to Loyola!” – Rick Greenspan, Director of Athletics, Rice University

“I want to congratulate Grace Calhoun on being hired as the Director of Athletics at Loyola University Chicago. Grace has worked at the highest levels of intercollegiate sports for many years, including serving as the Senior Woman Administrator at Indiana University and working on various NCAA Committees. Her passion and knowledge in this field will make her a great fit at Loyola and I want to wish her the best of luck as she makes the move to the great city of Chicago.” – James E. Delany, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference

“I have known Grace since her Patriot League days and she is one of the up-and-coming bright stars in our profession. She’s an excellent administrator with a strong history of supporting student-athlete welfare issues. Her experiences as a former student-athlete, assistant commissioner, athletics department administrator at various institutions and her national level committee work with the NCAA will serve her well in leading Loyola Athletics. On a personal level, Grace is a good friend and I’m really looking forward to working with her and welcoming her and her family to Chicago.” – Jean Lenti Ponsetto, Director of Athletics, DePaul University

“Grace is one of the strongest people I have ever met. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with her for the past three years and the Calhoun family has become very special to the Crean family. She will have a great impact on the Loyola community from the very first day. She offers a wealth of experience and is well deserving and even more prepared for the task of helping Loyola reach all of its goals and potential.” – Tom Crean, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Indiana University




LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO · 1032 W. Sheridan Rd., Chicago, IL 60660 · 773.274.3000

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy