Emory Athletic Director Tim Downes Announces Resignation

Emory Athletic Director Tim Downes Announces Resignation

Tim Downes, the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Emory University since 2007, has announced his resignation effective June 30, 2015.  Downes will assume the athletic director duties at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta.

During his tenure, Downes oversaw and played a direct role in numerous accomplishments that had a positive and profound impact on the fortunes of the 18-sport program, with Emory teams having claimed 54 University Athletic Association championships as well as eight NCAA Division III national titles.  During the 2012-13 school year, Emory finished No. 2 in the Learfield Sports Directors Cup which recognizes the best overall intercollegiate athletic programs in the nation within the various divisions.  Under his watch, Emory recorded top-10 finishes in the Directors Cup on six occasions.

In addition to the athletic success of the department, Emory student-athletes shined in the class room as well, earning a total of 32 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and 50 Academic All-American berths.  Downes has been active on the NCAA front, serving on the Management Council, Championships Committee, Academic Issues Subcommittee and Subcommittee on Legislative Relief.  

One of four Division III recipients for the 2013-14 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award, Downes made a number of infrastructural enhancements, including the re-surfacing of the Woodruff PE Center’s outdoor and indoor tracks, construction of a softball batting cage, the installation of a wood floor on the fourth floor of the Woodpec, spectator seating for tennis, re-surfacing of the indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a drainage system at Chappell Park and updated scoreboards at the softball, baseball, soccer and tennis venues.

“It’s difficult to put into words my appreciation for Emory University and the personal and professional growth that I’ve experienced as being a part of this community, Downes said.  “Our coaches, our staff and our students embody everything that is great and good about intercollegiate athletics and our scholar athletes have inspired me on a daily basis as the real life example of doing it all and doing it all the best.”  

Prior to his arrival at Emory, Downes had served as the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Franklin and Marshall from 2004-2007. Before his Franklin and Marshall experience,  he logged a stint as the Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation at California Institute of Technology (1999-2004). 

As the Clyde Partin Sr. Director of Athletics, Tim has ably and faithfully stewarded Emory’s longstanding tradition of nurturing scholar athletes who excel in the classroom and in athletic competition,” stated Dr. Ajay Nair, Emory Senior Vice President and Dean of Campus Life.  “During his seven-year tenure, Emory students earned 32 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and 50 Academic All-American berths. Meanwhile, our Eagles teams won eight NCAA national titles and 54 UAA crowns. Equally important, Tim played a pivotal role in reimagining physical education by creating Play Emory, which cultivates our community’s passion for physical activity and a healthy lifestyle. We congratulate Tim and wishing him the best in his future endeavors, even as we know how greatly he will be missed at Emory.”

While overseeing the smooth running of the athletic department and Emory’s recreational services program, Downes also served on the University’s Administrative Council, the Campus Life Executive Leadership Team and the Student Hardship Fund Committee.

“As I step away from college athletics, I want to thank my colleagues at Emory and in particular Dr. John Ford, Dean Ajay Nair and Dr. Jim Wagner for their support and development of an environment where great things can happen,” Downes said.”

Emory Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jason Zimmerman
“Under Tim Downes leadership, Emory Athletics has continued to raise the bar in its pursuit of excellence in and out of the competition arena.  The care Tim has for the people he leads and his commitment to the student-athletes are second to none. We wish Tim and his family the best as he continues the next stage of his career.” 

Emory Head Women’s Soccer Coach Sue Patberg
“Tim’s door is always open and his demeanor and approachability makes him a pleasure to work with. The personal relationships he has developed with his coaches and the student-athletes demonstrates that he cares about them as individuals and not just in terms of wins and losses. Tim always has a positive attitude and works well with a multitude of groups on campus. During his time at Emory it was always clear that he was passionate about the institution and its athletic programs, always trying to propel the programs to new levels of excellence.”

Emory Head Track & Field/ Cross Country Coach John Curtin
“Tim Downes made it fun to come to work.  I think every single coach here feels like he made them and their teams feel special.  He is as smart as they come and a true leader in every sense of the word, but with that said, he never took himself too seriously.  He knows sports are supposed to be fun yet at the same time is a competitive guy who loves to win as much as anybody.  He is the best listener I have ever known as an administrator.  He genuinely cares about everyone here and had no personal agendas.  Everything was about what was best for the kids and how he could help us do our job.  I have been doing this a long time and he is the best AD I have been around.  I feel fortunate to have had the chance to work with him.”

Emory Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Joyce Jaleel
“It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Tim Downes.  I'm grateful for his steadfast presence, strong leadership and good-natured humor.  Putting students first -- academically, athletically and personally -- are most important to Tim.  A leader by example, doing what is right and what is good, the ability to keep things in perspective, have made us all better.  His guidance and support to me, and to our incredibly talented and dynamic coaches, shows his commitment to athletics, and to our Emory programs.  Under his leadership, teams have earned many championships and high academic achievements.  Tim works to make what is already excellent, even better, and daily, we are reminded how grateful we are to do what we get to do.  Emory has become a better place having Tim on board.  All the very best Tim, to you and your family.”