UNLV A.D. Announces Retirement
June 20, 2001
LAS VEGAS - Charles Cavagnaro has decided to retire from his position as the Director of Athletics at UNLV effective June 30, 2002, the university announced Wednesday.
Cavagnaro is entering his seventh year serving as UNLV's Director of Athletics. He was selected for the position by Dr. Carol C. Harter and assumed office on August 1, 1995.
"Having spent considerable time lately with my wife talking about future plans, it has led me to a decision to retire from my position as Director of Athletics effective June 30, 2002," Cavagnaro said. "I have discussed my decision with President Harter to provide time to plan for the future and I look forward to assisting in the transition.
"We have enjoyed our six years here and take pride in making substantial progress in areas of gender equity by starting two teams (women's soccer and women's golf), in the improved academic success of all our student-athletes and in rebuilding several programs, most notably football and women's basketball. With the hiring of a new men's basketball staff just recently, I believe we have a terrific coaching and administrative staff in place.
"I look forward to continuing to run this athletic department and look forward to the future as well."
Cavagnaro came to UNLV after nearly 13 years heading his alma mater, the University of Memphis (formerly Memphis State University).
A true believer in academic success, Cavagnaro initiated the UNLV Academic Top 30 program and initiated changes by reorganizing the Athletic Academic Advising Center for student-athletes, which resulted in a dramatic improvement in UNLV's graduation rates.
Cavagnaro has aggressively moved UNLV into compliance with Title IX and the school has made notable strides in participation during his tenure without affecting the Rebels' seven men's programs. Since 1995-96 he has improved the percentage of female student-athletes at UNLV from 33 percent to its current level at 48 percent.
Under Cavagnaro, UNLV completed the $8.5 million Lied Athletic Complex on campus, which serves as home to all but six Rebel programs. Last year, he joined in announcing that UNLV was receiving more than $3 million in gifts, which represents one of the largest donations ever designated for women's athletics. The private financial support helped fund a new softball stadium and a $1 million endowment to establish a UNLV women's golf team, as well as operating support for that program.
He also directed the athletic development efforts in securing gifts of $1.5 million in recent years.
In June 1996, Cavagnaro became the first-ever UNLV official chosen to serve on the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Executive Committee. He also was one of eight administrators selected to the transition team that assisted in the formation of the new Mountain West Conference.
He is a past chairman of the NCAA Nominating Committee, the NCAA Communications Committee, the NCAA Postseason Football Committee and the NCAA Competitive Safeguard Committee.