John B. Swarbrick Jr.

Athletics Director


John B. "Jack" Swarbrick Jr., a University of Notre Dame graduate who has risen to national prominence as a lawyer, consultant and executive in the collegiate and Olympic sports industries, is in his first year as director of athletics at his alma mater. 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 overall with the firm.

At the same time that Swarbrick began his career, the city of Indianapolis was beginning its effort to become a world-class center for amateur and professional athletics. Swarbrick quickly became an instrumental figure in that initiative.

As a member of the Indiana Sports Corporation, including the chairmanship from 1992 to 2001, Swarbrick led most of the city's 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 have resulted in the city:

  • Earning the right to host the 2012 Super Bowl in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium. As vice president of the Indianapolis 2012 Super Bowl Committee, Swarbrick served as the architect of the city's bid and the presentation to the NFL owners.

  • Becoming the home of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) national headquarters in 1999. He coordinated the city's efforts by assembling an incentive package, building community support and presenting Indianapolis in the bid process. His persistence helped deliver an extraordinary corporate partner for the community - the NCAA employs 400 people, creates an annual local operating impact of $63.5 million and offers direct impact to the community on a quadrennial basis of at least $100 million through its events.

  • 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. Indianapolis has played host to the NCAA Men's Basketball Final Four five times since 1991 - and Swarbrick engineered an agreement in which the men's Final Four will be played in Indianapolis on an average of once every five years through 2039. The economic impact of that agreement may reach $1 billion.

  • 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 (Indianapolis now has played host to every women's Big Ten basketball tournament except one since 1995). Creative elements of the bid included a large job fair and endowed student-athlete scholarships.

He served as sports commissioner of the 1982 U.S. Olympic Festival in Indianapolis, competition director of the '87 Pan American Games, chairman of the '91 World Gymnastics Championships and an executive committee member for the 1994 World Rowing Championships in Indianapolis. He also has served as a consultant to other communities playing host to or interested in attracting athletic events. Swarbrick's practice at Baker & Daniels has focused on the representation of owners of sports teams and organizations which sanction or conduct athletic competitions. He has served as general counsel for numerous national governing bodies of Olympic sports, including USA Gymnastics and USRowing, and as a consultant to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta.

In his work as an advisor to the NCAA, Swarbrick has:

  • 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.

  • Worked with the NCAA's Corporate Partners and Champions Program.

  • Served as a member of the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Discussion Group.

  • Chaired the NCAA/USOC task force dedicated to developing proposals to expand sponsorship of Olympic sports among NCAA member institutions.

He participated for two years as a midfielder with Notre Dame's club lacrosse team during his undergraduate years.

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 junior at St. Louis University; Connor, a sophomore at Wake Forest University; Cal, a junior in high school; and Christopher, a high school sophomore.