John B. Swarbrick Jr.
John B. “Jack” Swarbrick Jr., a University of Notre Dame graduate who rose to national prominence as a lawyer, consultant and executive in the collegiate and Olympic sports industries, serves as vice president and director of athletics at his alma mater.
During his time at Notre Dame Swarbrick has attached his signature to a variety of new initiatives:
- Launching Fighting Irish Digital Media—a major initiative that will deliver better information about and access to Notre Dame and its athletic programs via expanded production and distribution of programming.
- Creation of new community outreach and youth programming functions through student-athlete welfare and development office.
- Building of student-athlete programs and services that expand recognition of high academic achievement—and mentor and facilitate career development.
- Meeting the performance needs of Notre Dame student-athletes through establishment of a new sports performance division.
- Reaching out to more former Irish student-athletes, via the Notre Dame Monogram Club and other programs.
The past four years combined have featured a variety of on-and off-the-field Notre Dame athletics successes:
- Number-one rankings for Notre Dame (among Football Bowl Subdivision schools) in the four most recent Graduation Success Rate (GSR) surveys--in 2008 with a 98 for all student-athletes, in 2009 with a 99 (including a 97 score in football that also ranked number one), in 2010 at 99 (including football number one at 96) and again in 2011 at 99 (including football number one at 97).
- 124 All-Americans, 21 Academic All-America selections and five NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship winners.
- Record involvement in community service hours by Irish student-athletes.
- NCAA championships in 2011 in fencing (a men’s and women’s combined championship) and 2010 in women’s soccer.
- NCAA runner-up team finishes in 2012 and 2011 in women’s basketball, 2010 in men’s lacrosse, 2009 in fencing and 2008 in women’s soccer.
- NCAA semifinal appearances in men’s lacrosse in 2012, hockey in 2011, women’s tennis in both 2009 and 2010 and women’s soccer in 2009, plus 2010 and 2012 third-place fencing finishes.
- National coach-of-the-year honors for Randy Waldrum in women’s soccer in both 2010 and 2009 and for Mike Brey in men’s basketball in 2010-11--to go with a 2011 Hall of Fame induction for women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw and a Hermann Trophy for women’s soccer national player of the year Kerri Hanks in 2008.
- Construction of the 5,022-seat Compton Family Ice Arena that opened for the 2011-12 season and features two sheets of ice (one Olympic sized). The 2009-10 school year also featured dedications of new facilities for soccer and lacrosse--as well as opening of the new Purcell Pavilion within the south dome of the Joyce Center.
Born in Yonkers, N.Y., and raised in Yonkers and Bloomington, Ind., Swarbrick is a 1976 magna cum laude graduate of Notre Dame with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Upon graduating from Stanford University Law School in 1980, he returned to Indiana to accept a position as an associate in the Indianapolis law firm Baker&Daniels, one of the largest in the state. He was made partner in 1987 and spent 28 years with the firm.
As a member of the Indiana Sports Corporation, including the chairmanship from 1992 to 2001, Swarbrick led many of Indianapolis’ successful proposals to a wide array of athletics organizations--from the National Football League (NFL) to the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to the Big Ten Conference. His leadership efforts resulted in the city:
- Earning the right to play host to the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.
- Becoming the home of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national headquarters in 1999.
- Hosting the 1987 Pan American Games, where Swarbrick served as the director of competition.
- Hosting the 1991 World Gymnastics Championships.
- Hosting NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Fours and other college championship competitions and a wide array of national and world championships in the Olympic sports.
- Securing rights to host the Big Ten Conference men’s and women’s basketball tournaments at Conseco Fieldhouse for five consecutive years beginning in 2008.
At Baker&Daniels Swarbrick served as general counsel for numerous national governing bodies of Olympic sports, including USA Gymnastics, and as a consultant to various bid cities and host committees for Olympic Games and world championships.
In his work as an advisor to the NCAA, Swarbrick coordinated the men’s College Basketball Partnership, an NCAA-led group that addresses the opportunities and challenges in the sport; developed the business plan for the new NBA/NCAA youth basketball enterprise, iHoops; served as a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Discussion Group, and chaired the NCAA/USOC task force dedicated to developing proposals to expand sponsorship of Olympic sports among NCAA member institutions.
In 2000 Swarbrick received one of the NCAA’s highest honors, The Flying Wedge Award, for his work in establishing Indianapolis as the new home of the NCAA. In 2001 he was honored by the State of Indiana with the Sagamore of the Wabash Award. In 2002 he received the Pathfinder Award from Youthlinks Indiana for his service to youth in the state of Indiana.
Born March 19, 1954, Swarbrick was named Notre Dame’s 12th athletics director on July 16, 2008. He and his wife, Kimberly, are the parents of four children: Kate, a 2010 graduate of St. Louis University; Connor, a 2011 graduate of Wake Forest University; Cal, a junior at TCU; and Christopher, a University of Notre Dame sophomore.