May 10, 2006
John Parry, director of athletics at Butler University since 1990, has announced his decision to retire, ending the longest tenure at one school of any current NCAA Division I athletic director in Indiana. Parry will officially step down no later than Dec. 31, 2006, pending university transition plans.
Parry has presided over Butler's athletic department during a period of significant growth and success. During his tenure, Butler expanded its sports offerings, added and improved athletic facilities, and experienced its greatest single period of athletic achievement. Butler captured its first Horizon League James J, McCafferty Trophy for all-sports excellence in 1996-97, and the Bulldogs repeated that honor in 1997-98, 1998-99, 2001-02 and 2002-03.
"Thanks to talented athletes, resourceful coaches and a supportive administration, over 16 years we have been able to build a model NCAA Division I athletic program at Butler University," Parry said. "I loved being a part of the building process; I am proud of what we accomplished, and I look forward to taking on a new challenge in my professional career."
Under Parry's leadership, Butler added varsity teams in women's soccer, women's golf and men's lacrosse, bringing the school's total number of athletic teams to a league-high 19. Legendary Hinkle Fieldhouse and the Butler Bowl have undergone extensive renovation in the past 16 years, and three soccer/lacrosse fields and a softball field have been developed on campus. An intercollegiate weight room was added to Hinkle Fieldhouse, and the Davey Athletic Complex was completed with a new baseball press box and an all-weather track.
Parry's term also saw unparalleled success by Butler's athletic teams. The Bulldogs captured 55 conference regular season/tournament championships over the past 16 years and made NCAA National Championship appearances in men's and women's basketball, football, men's soccer, volleyball, men's and women's cross country, lacrosse, men's tennis, men's and women's track and baseball.
Five of Butler's six NCAA Tournament bids in men's basketball have come in the past decade, including a berth in the NCAA's "Sweet 16" in 2003. The men's cross country team posted Butler's highest NCAA finish ever with a fourth-place finish at the 2004 national meet, and Victoria Mitchell captured Butler's first national championship in 73 years with a first place finish in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 2005 NCAA Track and Field meet.
Butler's athletes also have excelled in the classroom. The Bulldogs have accumulated numerous league, regional and national academic honors over the past 16 years, and Butler has led the Horizon League in number of student athletes named to the academic honor roll in nine of the past ten years.
"John Parry has supported Butler's emphasis on a balance between academics and athletics while maintaining the competitiveness of our Division I programs," Butler President Dr. Bobby Fong said. "The ideal profile of the student-athlete is difficult to realize, and the university thanks John for helping make it a reality at Butler."
A past chair of the Horizon League athletic directors committee, Parry recently completed a four-year term as the league's representative to the NCAA Division I Management Council and a four-year term as a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
In June 2003, he was named NACDA I-AA/I-AAA Athletic Director of the Year in the Central Region of the USA. He is a past president of the Pioneer Football League and a past chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Committee. He's also served as a co-chairman of the Local Organizing Committee for the 1997, 2000 and 2006 NCAA Men's Final Four and for the 2005 NCAA Women's Final Four.
"John has held almost every leadership position in the Horizon League and has been a driving force behind the growth of the league for more than a decade and a half," Horizon League Commissioner Jon LeCrone said. "He has also been an extraordinary leader on the national and institutional levels and has been a valued resource for the Indianapolis community. We are certainly going to miss his intellect, experience and passion in the Horizon League."
Parry attended Brown University and was a two-time All-Ivy League performer and co-captain of the football team. He also earned varsity letters in basketball and lacrosse. He earned a B.A. in economics from Brown in 1965, and a master's in business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967.
His resume includes a six-year stint in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, eight years in business with IBM and as co-founder of Instant Data Inc., in Philadelphia, football and lacrosse coaching stints at Penn and Brown, and four years as assistant athletic director at Brown. He was named athletic director at Brown in 1979, and he held that position until coming to Butler in 1990. He was named to Brown's Athletic Hall of Fame in football in 1975.
The Butler athletic director has two daughters, Alyson, a '91 graduate of Brown, and Jennifer, a '93 graduate of Middlebury College (Vermont). He and his wife, Candis, have a 14-year-old son, J.C., and a 13-year-old daughter, Ashley Elizabeth.