New Deputy Director of Athletics is coming home
By Rick Vacek
GCU News Bureau
Grand Canyon University’s new deputy director of athletics is a Phoenix native and lifelong Suns fan. Nothing unusual there.
But she also worked with Coach K. How many people can say that?
The latest addition to the GCU athletics department is Jamie Boggs, a graduate of Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix and The University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law who most recently was executive senior associate athletic director/chief operating officer at Georgia State University, where she has worked since 2011.
But before that she was senior administrator/assistant athletic director for compliance for three years at Duke University, where she began her career in college administration in 2003 as compliance coordinator and moved up to director of compliance in 2005. And Duke is the home of Coach K, Mike Krzyzewski, the universally respected coach who is one of only three men to win as many as four NCAA basketball championships and has been a coach for Team USA since 1979.
“Coach K is a great, great person,” Boggs said. “There’s a reason that he’s successful. He handles everything with the highest level of professionalism, highest level of class. I couldn’t have asked for a better person to work with.
“And being that my first job in college athletics is compliance — compliance is tough. You’re the ‘no’ person. You’re not the fundraiser that goes in and says, ‘Guess what? I have some money.’ You’re the person that goes in and says, ‘There might be a problem.’ He let me make mistakes and handled it with so much class.”
Boggs’ tenure at Duke was a major attraction for Mike Vaught, GCU’s new vice president of athletics.
“When you’ve worked at Duke, that gives you instant credibility,” he said.
But her overall credentials are impeccable. Before working in college athletics she was director of sports management for Sports Management Group Worldwide in Fairfax, Va., where she assisted with representation of professional baseball players and secured marketing contracts for professional football players. She also interned with the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association and the Chicago White Sox of Major League Baseball.
She and her husband, Matthew, have two children, Aiden and Lilia.
“This is an exceptional hire based on her qualifications and her experience at Duke and Georgia State,” Vaught said. “I am extremely excited for Jamie to join our executive team. She stands for excellence and professionalism in every area. I classify her as a superstar in our industry.”
Boggs said she knows Vaught through a mutual acquaintance, “but it’s someone we know and trust tremendously. We’re both on the same page. It was an easy decision.”
Making it even easier was returning home to Phoenix. Boggs said she has driven down Camelback Road past GCU regularly to go to her favorite Chinese restaurant, Great Wall, and has been amazed to watch the Arena and parking garage spring up. Wait until she sees the rest of the campus: She took classes here years ago but acknowledges that she probably will barely recognize it with all the new construction when she officially starts work after the first of the year.
Boggs will be No. 2 in the athletics department under Vaught and will oversee operations, serve as sports supervisor for women’s basketball and be the external liaison with the Western Athletic Conference and NCAA. Her main mission will be helping the department continue its growth, focusing particularly on compliance with NCAA rules, as it continues its successful transition to Division I.
“It’s a big commitment by the University. You’re really committing a lot of resources, not just financial but personnel. It’s a whole other level of commitment. You really have to raise your standard. But Grand Canyon has the tools and foundation to make it happen,” she said.
Boggs said Georgia State is similar to GCU in that it is in a large city (Atlanta) that has another big-time university nearby plus major professional sports teams. But it was at Duke where she learned from the best, particularly Coach K.
“He is like the perfect coach,” she said. “The way he conducts himself with people off campus, the way he conducts himself with support staff — I’ve just never seen anyone who conducts himself the way he does.
“When you’re working with new coaches … it gives you an ideal when you want to show them how to be. It helps to have someone like that as a model for here’s what a coach should be like, here’s how you get to that next level, here’s how you get to be a head coach.”
Contact Rick Vacek at 602-639-8203 or [email protected]