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Silver Anniversary Award winner: Bernard Muir

Stanford’s athletics director has spent a lifetime immersed in college sports

In Bernard Muir’s first days on campus at Brown University in 1986, he approached athletics director John Parry to share that, one day, he wanted to be in his shoes. Despite Parry’s advice to keep an open mind, Muir was certain he would build a life around college athletics. And, after playing basketball at Brown and working in athletics administration at several schools, he has done just that – he is now director of athletics at Stanford University.

After Muir graduated, he received a call from Parry, who was settling into a new role at Butler University and asked if Muir was interested in joining him in Indianapolis. That led to Muir’s first job in college athletics. From there, Muir joined the NCAA national office staff, where he was part of the team responsible for the men’s basketball championships. While he did not experience a national championship at Brown, he was eager to contribute to the tournament as an adult.

 “You wish you could’ve put on the shorts and been part of that scene,” he said. “To still be associated with that in some form or fashion is terrific.”

After leaving the national office, Muir completed stints at several schools, including Delaware, Georgetown and Notre Dame. In addition to his responsibilities at Stanford, he currently serves on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee. He has relied on his experiences as a student-athlete to guide him through his new roles.

 “I constantly reflect on what it was like for me and what was important,” he said. “How could I have gotten more out of it?”

When counseling student-athletes he meets at Stanford, Muir relies on lessons taught to him by mentors throughout his career.

“You have the highs and some bumps in the road. Regardless, you have to be prepared for whatever comes,” he said. “I learned that on the practice floor at Brown and have certainly put it into practice at Stanford.”