Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips confirms retirement

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Clemson University will get a new athletic director next year. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

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Clemson University athletic director Terry Don Phillips confirmed he will retire when his contract ends in July 2013, according to an e-mail sent from the University to its employees.

The school's president James F. Barker confirmed that a search to replace Phillips will be underway this fall. Barker said he'd like to ideally have someone in place before Phillips' contract is up so that there's no need for an interim athletic director.

Barker and Clemson's board of trustees were the first to hear from Phillips about his plans:

“As I am now in the final year of my contract, I have decided to publicly announce my retirement plans, so that President Barker can have as much time and flexibility as isneeded to conduct a search and ensure a smooth transition in leadership,” Phillips said.

His tenure as athletic director was highlighted by 57 finishes in the top 25 and 13

ACC championships. Clemson also had 77 winning seasons and was eligible for the bowl every year under Phillips. His student-athletes had a 2.99 GPA for spring semester 2012. The University e-mail to announce his retirement also read:

In an environment where high profile college teams have faced severe NCAA compliance issues and penalties, Clemson has not received one letter of inquiry.