In her ninth year as leader of the Wolf Pack, University of Nevada Director of Athletics Cary Groth is committed to maintaining a strong athletics program that operates with integrity, allows Nevada student-athletes and programs to compete at the highest levels and serves the campus and community.
Her vision and lofty goals have helped lead Nevada to unprecedented success on and off the field of competition. Most recently, Groth was instrumental in helping to put the Wolf Pack in a position to join the Mountain West Conference starting in 2012-13, a move that benefits all of the Wolf Pack's sports programs as well as the university and community.
During Groth's time as director of athletics, the Wolf Pack has enjoyed an era of program-wide success with all of Nevada's teams participating in postseason play. The Wolf Pack captured 16 WAC Championships during Groth's tenure, including five men's basketball crowns (2005-08 and 2012), three women's swimming and diving titles (2007-09), three softball championships (2006, 2008-09), two football titles (2005 and 2010), and conference titles by women's soccer (2006), men's golf (2007) and baseball (2012).
An aggressive scheduling philosophy has also matched the Wolf Pack up against some of the nation's best in all sports and secured home games against top-notch BCS competition. Nevada's athletics department contributes over $18.5 million in economic impact in northern Nevada and Wolf Pack student-athletes, coaches and staff also complete over 2,500 hours of community service annually.
The Wolf Pack athletics program also has been recognized for its accomplishments off the playing field. The program's Graduation Success Rate for student-athletes has increased in each of the last seven years and is at its all-time high of 78 percent, while Wolf Pack teams have turned in eight consecutive years of penalty-free academic performance in the NCAA's Academic Progress Rates (APR) report. A total of 469 student-athletes graduated over the past seven years, including 103 in the 2011-12 academic year.
Nevada was listed as one of the top athletics departments in the nation in providing opportunities for women in sports for four consecutive years in the national Gender Equity Scorecard study, including two years as the country's best in 2006 and 2007. Nevada has also been recognized by the Laboratory for Diversity in Sport at Texas A&M University for its accomplishments in the areas of diversity and was one of only 10 universities in the country to win the group's Diversity in Athletics Award in 2005-06.
Groth has been instrumental in working with donors who have generously contributed to the success of student athletes on and off the field. Gifts totaling more than $40 million have allowed for the completion of the state-of-the-art E.L. Cord Academic and Athletics Performance Complex, Roger B. Primm Sports Medicine and Strength Center, Marguerite Wattis Petersen Academic Center and Christina M. Hixson Softball Park, as well as renovations to the Nancy and Robert Cashell Football Center and men's and women's basketball locker rooms at Lawlor Events Center.
During Groth's tenure, program revenues have increased in nearly every category, including season ticket revenue, sponsorships, royalties and licensing, and concessions. Groth initiated a successful, comprehensive sponsorship, television, radio and internet-rights partnership with Learfield Sports in the form of Wolf Pack Sports Properties, as well as an all-sports footwear and apparel contract for the University with Nike.
Prior to joining the University in March 2004, Groth spent more than 20 years at her alma mater, Northern Illinois University, including 10 years as director of athletics from 1994-2004. She was inducted into the Northern Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame in 2010. She was recognized in 2003 as the National Association of Collegiate Women's Athletic Administrators Division I Administrator of the Year and the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association Administrator of the Year, and she served on the U.S. Department of Education's Commission on Opportunity in Athletics in 2002-03. She has been recognized locally for her leadership by the Girl Scouts of the Sierra Nevada in 2008 and the Nevada Women's Fund in 2009.
The 2012-13 year will mark Groth's last year at Nevada as she has announced that she will retire from her position in June.
"I look forward to leading the Wolf Pack in its first year in the Mountain West Conference and helping in any way I can to continue the legacy of Wolf Pack Athletics," Groth said. "I plan to stay in northern Nevada which will enable me to continue to support the Wolf Pack, a program for which I have great respect," said Groth, who plans to stay involved in intercollegiate athletics on the national level. "I also look forward to the opportunities I will have to work with my colleagues around the country."
"I greatly appreciate Cary's leadership, and I respect her decision," said University President Marc Johnson. "Wolf Pack Athletics has moved forward and, while Cary is quick to credit the coaches, staff and students-athletes, she set the tone and direction for this growth. During Cary's tenure as athletics director, Wolf Pack fans have seen progress in both the competitive success of our teams and the academic success of our student-athletes. Through these and other advancements, Cary has been instrumental in further establishing Wolf Pack Athletics as a highly regarded program, and putting the program in a position to join the Mountain West Conference this year."
STAR OF THE WEEK
2016-17 Student Athlete of the Week
Women's Swimming & Diving
After sweeping all three diving competitions, Sharae Zheng helped lead the Pack to a third place finish at the 2017 Mountain West Championships. Not only did she become just the third diver in MW history to win all three events, Zheng finished the weekend setting two MW records. As a program, the Pack has now won 14 of the 15 diving events at the championships, since Nevada joined the MW five years ago.
- ATHLETE OF THE MONTH