By Aaron Sundermann
Behind every college athletic program there is always someone who oversees everything that goes on. At the University of Findlay this person is Jim Givens.
Givens was named the new director of athletics at UF in the winter of 2022, but his time at UF started long before that as he is entering his 26th year as a part of the UF athletics staff.
Givens started his UF career as the head baseball coach in 1997 and coached through the 2003 season. After that he moved on to become the Assistant Athletic Director responsible for Business Operations, and Development. After 10 years or so in that position he then was promoted to Associate Athletic Director with expanded development responsibilities. Finally, five years ago Givens was once again promoted to the Senior Associate Athletic Director.
“My time serving the athletic department has definitely prepared me for my new role as Director of Athletics,” Givens said.
Fiona Hanks (Associate Athletic Director for Sports and Medicine) also believes that Givens transition into his new position will go seamlessly.
“Jim loves Findlay athletics and has worked in our department for 26 years” Hanks said. “His knowledge of our department and his vision for where we are heading are both very positive attributes that Jim embraces and ones that he will use to advance his role and the department.”
Givens comes into the position with a goal in mind.
“In athletics we do what we do to provide opportunity for success each and every day for our staff and more importantly student-athletes,” Givens said.
Givens has been involved with athletics throughout his entire life as his father was a coach for 38 years.
“Seeing the impact, he made on so many was truly an inspiration,” Givens said.
Givens says there are certain issues he wants to continue to address that are extremely important moving forward.
“First and foremost, health and safety are of upmost importance,” Givens said. “We must educate and prepare our staff and student-athletes to become more aware and possibly respond to difficult situations on and off the field of play.”
Givens attributes his tenure here at Findlay to one reason, “The people”
“Without great people a place is just a place,” Givens said. “At UF we flourish because we are family filled with outstanding individuals.”
Given gave a lot of credit to the foundation of the program as well to Vice President for Student Affairs and Athletics and former director of athletics, Brandi Laurita.
Hanks also attributed this smooth transition of Givens to Athletic Director to Laurita.
“Jim worked very closely with Brandi Laurita and so his transition will be smoother because of the knowledge and skills shared by these two,” Hanks said.
“The foundation of our department will always be a work in progress with the amount of change in our world today,” Given said. “Moving forward we will include new initiatives aligned with our overarching strategic plan in the areas of Student-Athlete well-being, the recruiting process including financial aid and admissions as well as fundraising for both general support and capital projects.”
You can hear more from Jim Givens in his interview with 88.3 WLFC, the Pulse Radio’s, Johnny Muu.