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Director, Academic Services & Student Development - Athletics
University of Illinois-UIC
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About University of Illinois-UIC
ABOUT UIC ATHLETICS UIC sponsors 18 programs which compete at the highest level of collegiate sport, NCAA Division I. Men’s sports (8) include: baseball, basketball, cross country, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor). Women’s sports (10) include: basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball. Athletics dates back to the basketball and football teams in the 1880s as the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Later, in 1946, the campus was set on Navy Pier and athletics continued to grow as the Chicago Illini. In 1965 the campus was relocated from Navy Pier to its current location to represent the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle campus. In 1981, UIC gained its Division I status and began competing as the Flames. Since that time, the department’s current teams have combined to win 73 conference championships and gone on to represent the university 44 times in the NCAA Championship for their respective sport. Women’s tennis leads the way with 20 titles and 16 NCAA Tournament appearances, most recently in 2019. That program’s haul includes an un...precedented run of dominance spanning from 1999-2013. Softball has been to the NCAA Tournament 11 times, most recently in 2018. That program’s history includes an appearance at the Women’s College World Series in 1994. Men’s soccer has eight appearances, including two times to the Sweet Sixteen (2000 and 2008) and one to the Elite Eight (2007). Baseball has earned six NCAA Championship bids, including two of the last three awarded through the Horizon League (2017 and 2019). Finally, men’s basketball has reached the NCAA Tournament three times (1998, 2002 and 2004). ACADEMIC SUCCESS UIC student-athletes shattered the department's record by placing 105 members on the Horizon League Academic Honor Roll for the Fall 2020 semester. As a department, the Flames posted a 3.45 grade-point average, surpassing the 3.0 standard for the 13th consecutive semester. The Honor Roll achievers blew by the previous record of 93, set in the fall of 2018. The women's tennis team had the top women's team GPA for the third-straight semester, finishing with an impressive 3.94 GPA as a team, while the men's tennis team took home the top team GPA on the men's side at 3.71. A total of 240 Flames earned a 3.0 GPA or higher. Of those, 140 earned recognitions on UIC's Dean's List by posting a 3.5 or higher, and 47 had a perfect 4.0 mark. UIC's women's swimming and diving team led the way with 13 Honor Roll selections. Baseball was right behind them with 12 Honor Roll members, and women's soccer, men's swimming and diving, and men's cross country and track and field had 11 each. Men's soccer placed 10 on the honor roll. Women's cross country and track and field saw nine make the list, softball had eight, and golf had five. Four women's tennis players made the Honor Roll, along with three each from men's tennis, volleyball, and women's basketball. Two men's basketball players rounded out the Honor Roll group. SUPPORTING THE FLAMES UIC Athletics and the Flames Athletic Fund raised nearly $70,000 from 144 donors to record its best ever Giving Tuesday campaign in December 2020. Athletics also recorded the single largest Giving Tuesday gift in University history, a $50,000 donation towards student-athlete scholarships. In addition to supporting specific teams, donors directed gifts to academic support, sports medicine, nutrition, strength and conditioning, athletic facilities, and community engagement and leadership development, which will further enhance the overall student-athlete experience. Giving Tuesday was part of UIC's IGNITE: The Campaign for UIC, for which Intercollegiate Athletics has raised over $16 million toward its $23 million goal. DEPARTMENT LEADERSHIP Michael Lipitz joined UIC as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics on October 28, 2019. He has more than 20 years of intercollegiate athletics experience, including leadership positions at North Carolina State University and the University of Maryland. In less than 18 months on campus, Lipitz has played a pivotal role in instituting positive change at UIC. He has overseen a significant refresh of the department’s brand standards, as well as the introduction of a revitalized student-driven mascot program. Lipitz has assisted in a redesign of UICFlames.com and the implementation of several student-athlete focused resources such as the F.L.A.M.E.S Leadership Institute. In March, he hired a highly sought after head men’s basketball coach, Luke Yaklich, to lead that program. Lipitz joined the Flames after eight and a half years at North Carolina State University. As deputy athletics director, he was responsible for the daily operations of the department and oversaw personnel and legal matters for athletics, capital projects, facilities and operations, equipment, championships and special events. He also supervised the football, women's basketball and men's and women's tennis programs. Prior to NC State, Lipitz spent 11 years in senior leadership roles at the University of Maryland. He oversaw Maryland's marketing, licensing, ticketing and video units, and managed relationships with its sponsorship rights holder, its football fundraising organization, and its letter winner organization. He also negotiated and managed contracts, including the all-sport apparel deal, and multimedia, concessions, merchandising and personnel agreements. Lipitz holds a law degree from Villanova University and a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Maryland, where he was a captain of the men's tennis team. UNIVERSITY LEADERSHIP Since March 2015, Chancellor Michael D, Amiridis has led Chicago’s largest university, with more than 31,300 students, 16 academic colleges, and one of the nation's largest medical schools. He calls UIC “a model of a public urban research institution in this country, located in a most vibrant global city.” A native of northern Greece, Amiridis is a first-generation college student who came to the U.S. to pursue graduate studies in chemical engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to UIC, he spent over two decades as a professor, researcher and senior administrator at the University of South Carolina. An avid sports fan and UIC Flames strongest supporter, Amiridis was an accomplished junior basketball player in the Greek club system.
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