by Erin Huggins
Jon Carey returned to WOU as the interim athletic director on Sept. 1, replacing Daniel Hare. After working at WOU for 36 years, starting as a volunteer assistant coach with women’s basketball and ending with 17 years as athletic director, Carey retired in 2010. His time off, however, was short-lived.
“Just when I was getting good at retirement, I stepped out for a while,” Carey said. “Given the timing of Daniel’s departure, it made sense to hire an interim and I was available. President Weiss asked if I was interested in returning, and I said that I would be happy to step in.”
"Jon is a man who believes in the ideals of Western Oregon University and will bring continuity and stability to the athletic department during this time of transition," said President Weiss. "He was excited for the opportunity to return on an interim basis to Western Oregon and I am thrilled to have him back."
Ready to rejoin the Wolves as interim athletic director, Carey nonetheless put a few personal plans on hold. “After I accepted the interim appointment, I had to cancel six golf tournaments that I was entered in. That was tough at first, but now that the competitive golf season is over and it has begun to rain, it has become easier to adjust,” he said.
Carey’s accomplishments during his three decades at WOU include overseeing the Wolves’ transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II, helping construct two NAIA National Championship basketball teams and leading WOU to the 2007-08 Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Sports Trophy.
Though Carey’s title is the same as before, the athletic department has changed since his initial retirement. “A large part of the job involves working with our coaches and student-athletes and managing the program. That is the same,” Carey said. “We do have more personnel than when I was here previously […] We have an excellent foundation that was built, so my job is to continue to maintain and strengthen that foundation.
“We have a great staff and tremendous student-athletes. In the time that I am here I want to reaffirm the great work that these people are doing. It is rewarding to see the development of our student-athletes and the guidance that they are being provided by our coaches.”
Carey will serve as interim athletic director until June 2013. A national search for a full-time athletic director will occur in 2013. Hare, athletic director since Carey’s 2010 retirement, left this position to return to his alma mater of Baylor University Law School.