If Jarmond leaves.
M. GRACE CALHOUN, PH.D.
TITLE T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W'69 Director of Athletics and Recreation
Dr. M. Grace Calhoun is in her sixth year as the T. Gibbs Kane, Jr. W'69 Director of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Pennsylvania. In this role, Calhoun leads the University’s 33 varsity athletics programs, nearly 40 club programs, and broad-based intramural and recreational offerings for students, faculty and staff.
A proven, impactful leader, Calhoun is passionate about the holistic development of students and the promotion of physical, mental and emotional wellness through sport participation. Calhoun has spent more than 25 years making a difference locally and nationally by administering high-quality programming and formulating and facilitating the adoption of values-based policies governing sport at the institutional, conference and national levels. Calhoun’s leadership was recognized by being named the 2017 Division I FCS Administrator of the Year by the Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA) and she was appointed to the NCAA Division I Council, the chief legislative body for Division I, in the same year. Two years later, she was named the chair of the NCAA Division I Council, the first from a non-Power Five conference. Calhoun was also named the Athletic Director of the Year, Football Championship Subdivision by NACDA in 2019.
Calhoun’s first five years at Penn have been highlighted by increased competitiveness resulting in 24 Ivy League or conference championships by 15 different sports, three individual national titles, and two national runner-up team finishes. In addition, Penn has had 110 All-Americans, 210 individual NCAA Championship qualifiers, 19 Coaches of the Year, 26 Ivy League Players of the Year, 108 Ivy League individual champions, 226 first-team All-Ivy selections and a Rhodes Scholar. In the NCAA Academic Progress Rate (APR) announcement in 2017, Penn ranked fourth nationally with 17 teams rated in the top 10 percent of their sport.
Under Calhoun’s leadership, Penn Athletics has launched the “Game Onward” fundraising campaign, raising over $157M to date to surpass the $150M campaign goal. Beyond building or renovating seven athletics facilities in this campaign, Calhoun has already more than doubled the size of Penn’s athletics endowment and increased annual fund raising to historic highs, including a new record of $63.4M committed in 2018-19. Calhoun’s five-year strategic plan for Penn Athletics includes building out three “centers of excellence” for which Penn Athletics will become nationally known: a best-in-class partnership with Penn’s Wharton School of Business on leadership and character development through sport; a cutting-edge program in sports performance and injury prevention in partnership with the world-renowned Penn Medicine; and a civic engagement program in conjunction with Penn’s Netter Center whereby student-athletes are having local, national and global impact.
Calhoun arrived at Penn from Loyola University Chicago, where she was Director of Athletics and Assistant Vice President for three years. Calhoun hired eight head coaches including the men’s basketball coach and transitioned athletics conferences, two moves that were publicly credited with setting in motion Loyola’s men’s basketball Final Four run in 2018. She led the Ramblers to their most successful all-sports finish in decades, including the first of two consecutive national championships in men’s volleyball. Calhoun also built campus partnerships and garnered national media attention for the 50th anniversary of the Game of Change culminating in a visit to the White House.
Prior to Loyola, Calhoun served for six years as Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at Indiana University, four years as Associate Executive Director of the Patriot League conference, three years as Associate Athletic Director at Dartmouth College, and began her athletics administrative work serving four years at the University of Florida and two years at St. Francis University.
Calhoun also has extensive NCAA governance and national association service. Prior to accepting the chair role of the NCAA Council, Calhoun was the chair of the NCAA’s Strategic Vision and Planning Committee. She has previously served as chair of the NCAA Division I Awards, Benefits and Financial Aid Cabinet; chair of the NCAA Research Committee; and vice chair of the NCAA Olympic Sports Liaison Committee. She has served as a member of the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance, NCAA Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sport Committee, and NCAA Division I Track and Field Committee. Calhoun also served on the Board of Women Leaders in College Sports.
Calhoun graduated magna cum laude from Brown University in 1992 with a degree in electrical engineering, where she competed on the track and field team, a sport she picked up late in high school after her retirement as an elite gymnast. In addition to her bachelor's degree from Brown, Calhoun earned master's degrees from the University of Florida (exercise science) and Lehigh University (MBA), and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Florida.
Calhoun and her husband Jason, a PGA golf professional and head men’s golf coach, have four daughters: Alexandra (Lexy) age 17, Madeline (Mady) age 15, Eleanor (Ella) age 11, and MaryKate (Kate) age 5.
Last updated: August 28, 2019