USF coaches, boosters comment on Judy Genshaft’s retirement


What some of the more prominent people in USF athletics are saying about Dr. Judy Genshaft’s retirement as university president:

“President Genshaft has meant so much to me personally and professionally. My family, staff, players and I are grateful for her unwavering support of our program, the entire athletic department and female athletic programs here at USF. This university would not be in a position it is in academically, globally, fiscally and economically impactful in the Tampa Bay area if it wasn’t for her vision and leadership. We came in together, 18 years ago. I’m thankful to have served under her leadership.” — women’s basketball coach Jose Fernandez

“Her imprint will always be on this university and what she’s done for it. You hate to see her leave because of what she’s done and the passion she has and how much she loves not only the student-athletes, but all students on this campus. I can remember when I came here (for) interviews we were talking, and she was like, ‘Coach, if I see anybody with any type of shirt other than South Florida, I make ’em take it off, and I just march ’em to the bookstore and put a shirt on ’em.’ That shows you right there how passionate she is about the university. It’s gonna be a big loss for us and you just hate to see it happen because of what she’s done.” — football coach Charlie Strong

Related: A letter from Judy Genshaft: ‘The right time for me to step down.’

“Judy has done so much in 18 years to place USF on the national stage. I have never seen a university president that is more emotionally invested and passionate about the success of student-athletes.” — Jeff Fishman, USF alumnus and prominent booster (whose family’s monetary gift led to renovation of USF’s student-athlete enrichment center)

“Innovative. In tune not just with the students but also the student-athletes. And above and beyond everything else she has done she cares about people, and that’s what makes her a rock star on campus.” — softball coach Ken Eriksen

“A few weeks back, after the Helios (Education Foundation) announcement (of a $2.1 million grant to the USF Black Leadership Network), Judy and I went to lunch. Of all the places around campus, she wanted to go to The Hub in the new USF Village. We parked at the USF Credit Union and it took us 15 minutes to get to The Hub because every student wanted to stop and take pictures with her. … Her ability to connect with the most important assets the university has, its students, is by far the most valuable asset she possesses.” — Integral Energy CEO Anddrikk Frazier, a former USF men’s basketball player

“When recruits as me what my favorite part about coaching at USF is, one of the things I tell them about is the support that our president has for our athletic program. She genuinely cares for our athletes and coaches. She’s never missed a senior night since I’ve been at USF (six-plus seasons) and can call a large majority of our athletes by name. That does not happen at most universities. I’m so proud of what she has done for USF both on an academic and athletic stage. I feel lucky to be a USF Bull under her leadership. She will be incredibly missed.” — volleyball coach Courtney Draper

“What I’ll always love about Judy is the genuine passion and juice she had for USF athletics. Her enthusiasm was infectious and she was always the biggest cheerleader in the room for her Bulls.” — Jay Mize, member of inaugural Bulls football team and well-known local entrepreneur

“In building our program we talk to our recruits and players about making a positive impact, being a program changer, elevating USF to the next level and leaving a legacy of excellence. Judy Genshaft guided this university on a presidential level with those merits at the forefront. Her leadership will be missed, but her commitment, passion and vision will continue to be felt throughout our world-class university. It was an honor to be hired by President Genshaft and an even greater honor to serve under her leadership.” — men’s basketball coach Brian Gregory


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