HAMPTON, Va. – Calling him a “loyal and dedicated professional,” Hampton University president Dr. William R. Harvey has accepted the resignation of Lonza Hardy Jr. as the university’s athletics director, effective September 6, 2011.
Hardy, who has held the post since 2007, will become the new athletics director at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff upon leaving Hampton.
“Lonza has had a very positive effect on our athletics program,” said Harvey. “He helped guide us through NCAA re-certification, he helped us to remain a consistent championship program and he quickly became a part of the Hampton family. While we hate to see him leave, we are fully supportive of his decision and we anticipate letting our association with him continue into the future, both on a professional and personal level.”
During Hardy’s stint at Hampton, the HU athletics program has captured 11 championships, including titles in women’s basketball, men’s basketball, women’s cross country, women’s indoor track and field and women’s outdoor track and field. The banner year for the program was in 2010-11, when four HU teams captured league titles and both the men’s and women’s basketball teams earned bids to the NCAA tournament after winning their respective Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournaments.
In each of Hardy’s years at HU, the athletics program captured the Mary McLeod Bethune Trophy, symbolic of having the best overall women’s sports program in the MEAC. Last summer, the university’s athletics program was ranked as the No.1 athletics program among the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) by the Learfield Sports Group, which also ranked the program among the nation’s top 150 programs overall. The HU Athletics Hall of Fame was also initiated under Hardy’s guidance two years ago.
Hardy said working at Hampton for the past four years has been a very rewarding experience for him.
“I have considered it a privilege to work at a university for the past four years that is unquestionably one of the nation’s premiere institutions of higher education,” said Hardy. “Hampton University has reached that plateau because of Dr. Harvey’s dynamic leadership and vision and because of the outstanding administrators, faculty and staff who surround him, as well as the engaging student body that we have served. I have learned much during my employment here and those lessons will surely make me a better professional and person as I continue to progress along my life’s journey.”