The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced that United States Naval Academy Director of Athletics Chet Gladchuk has been named the 2016 recipient of the NFF John L. Toner Award. Presented annually by the NFF, the Toner Award recognizes an athletics director who has demonstrated superior administrative abilities and shown outstanding dedication to college athletics and particularly college football.
“Since taking over as Navy’s Athletics Director in 2001, Chet has overseen a renaissance of the Naval Academy athletic program,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “His leadership has helped create one of the most successful periods in school history, including great success by the football team. His accomplishments place him at the forefront of his profession and make him truly worthy of this prestigious honor.”
Since being introduced as the Academy’s 28th Director of Athletics on Sept. 4, 2001, Gladchuk has led the Navy Athletics program to phenomenal success. The Midshipmen have finished first in the Corvias Patriot League Presidents’ Cup standings for the past three years and four times out of the last five years. Navy has finished either first or second during each of the past 10 years in the race for the Cup, claimed by the conference member with the highest cumulative sports point total based on championships and final standings in all sports. During the 2015-16 season, the Midshipmen claimed seven conference championships, and they have dominated the entire Patriot League during the last five seasons, winning 36 conference titles or twice as many championships as any other school during the period. He was a finalist this year for Athletic Director of the Year by the Sports Business Journal.
Navy also saw its success translate to the classroom, with 25 of its 26 NCAA sponsored teams landing above the national average for their respective sport in the Academic Progress Report during the 2015-16 season, including football, which scored 18 points higher than the NCAA Division I football average. The Midshipmen have had two NFF National Scholar-Athletes under his tenure: John Dowd in 2011 and E.K. Binns in 2015.
In 2007, Gladchuk hired Ken Niumatalolo, who has become the school’s all-time winningest football coach with a 68-37 record. Before Gladchuk’s arrival, Navy had not been to a bowl game since 1996. Starting in 2003, Navy has appeared in 12 bowl games during the past 13 years. Additionally, Navy has won an unprecedented 14-consecutive games against archrival Army, never losing to the Black Knights after Gladchuk’s first year in Annapolis.
Gladchuk engineered Navy’s move to the American Athletic Conference in football in 2015, securing Navy’s future as a strong national FBS football program. In their first year in the conference, the Midshipmen won a school-record 11 games and their third consecutive bowl victory. Navy defeated Air Force and Army West Point to win the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for the third time in the last four years and for the 10th time in the last 13 years.
During the past 15 years, Gladchuk has made improvements in several key areas, providing the foundation for more success in the years to come. His key accomplishments include the $64 million renovation of Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, which has been completely refurbished over a six-year time frame.
Gladchuk has been able to parlay Navy’s athletic success into an exclusive television deal with CBS Sports Network that has increased Navy’s television exposure both in the United States and internationally. CBS Sports Network televises every Navy home and select neutral site football games (excluding Notre Dame and Army which are televised nationally by CBS), as well as other Midshipmen men’s and women’s athletic events, original programming and documentaries centered on the storied Navy athletic program. Gladchuk has also added radio giants WBAL (1090 AM) in Baltimore and WFED (1500 AM, 1050 AM, 820 AM) in Washington D.C./Northern Virginia to Navy’s radio network.
Other highlights during Gladchuk’s tenure at the Naval Academy include the recent renegotiation of the Army-Navy contract which resulted in over $46 million to the two schools over an eight-year period; scheduling Maryland, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Army at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore to promote Navy football in the community; and negotiating the extension of the Navy-Notre Dame football game television contract with CBS through 2018.
Gladchuk’s efforts have been recognized on a national level, as the Division IA Athletic Directors Association named him the 2005 Bobby Dodd Athletic Director of the Year. The award is presented in recognition of an athletic director’s support and commitment toward the successful advancement of the department, most specifically in the sport of football. Additionally, he was recognized by the Secretary of the Navy for his contributions and service to the Navy and the Naval Academy with the Superior Public Service Award to the Department of the Navy.
Gladchuk is heavily involved with NCAA and Patriot League committees. He was selected to serve on the NCAA Leadership Council, which is one of the highest NCAA appointments an athletic director can realize. The council helps set the Division I legislative agenda and advises the NCAA regarding major legislative issues being considered.
Gladchuk has been on the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors (NACDA) Executive Committee and has served as the Chairman of the Executive Committee in the Patriot League and a member of the NCAA Olympic Sport Liaison Committee.
Gladchuk came to the Naval Academy from the University of Houston, where he had been the Director of Athletics for four years. Recognized as one of the nation’s top leaders in intercollegiate athletics management, he guided the Cougars to 19 Conference USA Championships, while making significant strides in the academic success of their student-athletes, gender equity and fiscal management.
Before Houston, Gladchuk was the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Intramurals and Recreation for seven years at his alma mater, Boston College. Under Gladchuk, Boston College emerged as one of the NCAA’s elite programs of the 1990s winning numerous Big East and NCAA Championships. The school’s graduation rate for all student-athletes was over 90 percent, and the Eagles won the College Football Association’s Academic Achievement Award for the highest graduation rates among all Division I schools in three of his last five years at Boston College. Gladchuk led the Alumni Stadium expansion effort, which resulted in a $35 million improvement to the football stadium.
Prior to rejoining Boston College, Gladchuk served as AD at Tulane University from 1987-90. During his tenure, he directed the reinstatement of the Green Wave basketball program to Division I status. In addition, he oversaw the construction of new facilities for the athletics administration as well as baseball, track and field and tennis teams after a $25 million athletics campaign was successfully completed. From 1985-87, he served as Associate AD at Syracuse University, heading operations, NCAA compliance, financial aid and facility operations.
Gladchuk lettered in football at Boston College and graduated with honors in business management in 1973. He earned a master’s in sports administration from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 1974, where he began his career in intercollegiate athletics, including serving for seven years as Director of General Physical Education, Assistant and Associate Athletic Director for the university. He also has served as Director of Athletics and head football coach for the New Hampton (Prep) School in New Hampshire prior to leaving for UMass.
He and his wife, Kathy, have four children: John, Katie, Christie and Julie.
Gladchuk will be honored at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner on Dec. 6 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. He will accept his award alongside the recipients of the other NFF Major Awards, including , Chancellor of the University of Texas System and retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral William H. McRaven (NFF Distinguished American Award), College Football Hall of Fame coach and AFCA Executive Director Emeritus Grant Teaff (NFF Outstanding Contribution to Amateur Football Award), the Voice of the Washington Huskies Bob Rondeau (NFF Chris Schenkel Award for excellence in broadcasting), and the yet-to-be announced recipients of the NFF Gold Medal and the NFF Legacy Awards.
In addition to the presentation of the NFF Major Awards, the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner will provide the stage for the induction of the 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class; the presentation of the 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity; and the bestowing of the 27th NFF William V. Campbell Trophy, presented by Fidelity Investments and displayed at its official home inside the New York Athletic Club, to the nation’s top football scholar-athlete.
This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks (Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis (Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Bill Royce (Ashland [Ohio]), Mike Utley (Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue) and coaches Bill Bowes (New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming [Pa.]). The 2016 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class, presented by Fidelity Investments, will be announced this fall, and the winner of the Campbell Trophy will be announced live at the event on Dec. 6.