Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 21 No. 1
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.
  • Created with Sketch.

Game Changers: Judy Rose

Adding football at UNC Charlotte has been the biggest challenge and achievement of Rose’s career.
Team Leaders
Judy Rose
University of North Carolina at Charlotte | Director of Athletics

udy Rose was just the third female athletic director in the country when the Charlotte 49ers promoted her to the top job in 1990. She was the first female administrator on the NCAA men’s basketball committee in 1999. Just a few years after that, she served for two years as NACDA’s president. But none of those experiences compares to starting a football program at the Charlotte university. The school has spent the past four years preparing for its inaugural season this fall.

Rose remembers telling Eric Hyman, the athletic director at Texas A&M, that Charlotte planned to institute football. “He said, ‘Judy, are you crazy?’” Rose recalls. “But we’ve accomplished a lot here, and this is a new challenge.”

A former assistant basketball coach under Pat Summitt at Tennessee, Rose said starting football has created time and staffing challenges that will strain the athletic department unlike anything they’ve done before. “The pressure I feel now is having enough time and not feeling guilty because I might have to miss a game in soccer or volleyball,” she said. “I was an Olympic-sport athlete and I knew we didn’t make money, but it was important to me that the staff came to our games. I also might not know all of the student athletes as well; you just can’t. I feel guilty about that too. But this is a new challenge and, perception-wise, football makes you more of a complete university and more of a complete athletic department.”     

— Michael Smith

  • Crowning professional achievement: Adding the sport of football.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: Not doing it sooner; probably have missed potential opportunities.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: Two: C.M. Newton and DeLoss Dodds. Both seasoned ADs from large institutions, they took me under their wings, and I credit them both for my being selected as the first woman to serve on the NCAA men’s basketball committee.
  • Best advice you’ve received: My husband told me, “It is your responsibility to educate men on how you expect to be treated” (in regard to being the third female AD in Division I).
  • What would you, at age 18, find surprising about the person you’ve become today?: That instead of coaching student athletes, I now coach the coaches and administrators.

“Judy Rose is an outstanding administrator. I closely observed her as a member of the men’s basketball committee, and she performed as well as any member in my memory. She clearly understood men’s basketball and provided valuable insights to the committee and the total basketball community. She has been a loyal and valuable committee alum and still has an impact on NCAA basketball, both as an athletic director and a former member of the committee.”

— C.M. Newton | longtime basketball coach and administrator