Athletic Director Watson retires

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SVSU Athletic Director Mike Watson retired on Monday, Dec. 4, effective as soon as the 2017 fall semester has concluded.

Watson, who has been serving as Athletic Director since 2007, led the SVSU athletic department to many successes over his decade-long tenure, including several GLIAC/division championships in several different athletic programs.

John Decker, the associate vice president of Administration and Business Affairs, has taken over Watson’s duties as acting athletic director. Decker is excited to take on the day-to-day operations of the position but is also very humble for he work that Watson has done during his time at SVSU.

“While Mike’s decision may seem sudden, I know from my conversations with him that this was something he had been considering for some time,” Decker said.

It is unclear whether Watson will continue to consult the university. Decker said his contributions to the campus went above and beyond what was expected.

“(Watson) has a passion for supporting student-athletes personally,” Decker said. “Mike has always conducted himself with impeccable integrity in my dealings with him.”

Watson’s effect on the department and the student body can be seen in the success of the various athletic programs. SVSU’s student-athletes have boasted consistently high grade-point averages during Watson’s tenure, including 190 students who earned All-Academic honors during the 2016-2017 season.

The athletic department has yet to decide whether Decker’s position is permanent, but it is working diligently to fill the proper duties while the logistics are being worked on.

“We have just begun the process of assessing how best to move forward,” Decker said. “We will be looking at how best to provide the resources and support needed by our student-athletes and coaches for the short term and the long term.”