SBJ/March 12 - 18, 2007/Forty Under 40

Bernard Muir


Bernard Muir
Age: 38
Title: Athletic director
School: Georgetown University
Education: B.A., Brown University, 1990; master’s degree, Ohio University, 1992
Family: Wife, Liz; daughters, Libby, 9, and Millie, 3
Career: Held various positions during eight years with the NCAA, including director of the Division I men’s basketball championship; spent five years at Notre Dame, most recently as deputy athletic director; named AD at Georgetown in June 2005.
Last vacation: Duck, N.C., in the summer of 2006
Last book read: "The World is Flat,” by Thomas Friedman
Last movie seen: "The Departed”
TV show you never miss: "SportsCenter”
What’s on your iPod: A mix of rock, pop, rap and a little country
Pet peeve: People who don’t deliver what’s promised.
Greatest achievement: Finding a life partner, my wife
Greatest disappointment: Not pursuing more education, either an MBA or going further in sports administration
Best sporting event you’ve ever attended: The 2002 College World Series
Fantasy job: Being a Division I AD is what I always aspired to.
Executives you most admire: Kevin White, AD at Notre Dame, and Tom Jernstedt at the NCAA.
Business advice: For people entering business, you’ve got to start somewhere, and no job is too small.

Georgetown Athletic Director Bernard Muir, like a lot of young athletes, knew in high school that he wanted a career in sports. Unlike a lot of athletes, who look ahead to a career as a player or coach, Muir knew that he wanted to be in administration.

Taking advantage of his proximity to the University of Florida, Muir, who grew up in Gainesville, saw the many sides of an athletic department as a youngster. He sold drinks at the games, attended career-day events and sometimes visited with Florida administrators, such as former associate AD Keith Tribble, now the AD at Central Florida.

"Anything I could get my hands on," Muir said. "I just knew that this is what I wanted to do. I always had an appreciation for college sports."

Muir, a high school basketball player who also played at Brown University, once found himself sitting next to Tribble on a commercial flight, which gave him another opportunity to pick his brain.

"I'm sure he doesn't even remember that, but I do," Muir said. "He's a minority in the profession, he had great insight and after talking to him, that just reinforced that this is what I want to do."

Muir graduated from Brown, earned a master's degree at Ohio University and went to work for the NCAA, where he eventually became director of the Division I men's basketball championship. The tournament, the NCAA's flagship event, was his baby.

From there, he went to Notre Dame, where, as deputy athletic director, he oversaw facilities and game management.

In his second year as the AD at Georgetown, managing a $25 million annual budget, a staff of 130 employees and 700 student-athletes, facilities continue to occupy much of his time.

"My biggest task is fundraising and facilities," Muir said. "Those are two things I work on daily.

"Once you sit in this chair, it's amazing how fast things come at you. As an associate, you get a sense that the bullets are flying, but as the AD, they're flying from 27 different directions because that's the number of varsity sports we have, plus administration and coaches.

"The pressure is on. But I like it."

— Michael Smith

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