Message to the USC Community: Director of Athletics

September 9, 2019

Dear Trojan Community,

I am writing to share my sincere appreciation for Lynn Swann, who has decided to resign from his position as the Director of Athletics effective today. Lynn has been a leader on and off the field at USC for nearly five decades, and he will forever be a valued member of the Trojan family.

Lynn has led our Athletics Department to five national championships in five different women’s and men’s sports during his tenure. Our student-athletes’ cumulative GPA for the past two years and our graduation rate of 86% last year were all-time highs for USC Athletics. We appreciate Lynn’s leadership of the department over these past three years and will continue to be grateful for his historic contributions to USC.

I have asked Dave Roberts, currently a special advisor to the President, to serve as Interim Director of Athletics until a permanent replacement is named. In his current role, Dave serves as the NCAA’s Vice Chair of the Committee on Infractions. His experience, relationships and understanding of collegiate athletics, including as a student-athlete at UC Davis, make him well-qualified to lead the department during this period.

I am pleased to introduce the committee who will conduct the national search for our next, permanent athletic director. USC Trustee Suzanne Nora Johnson will chair the search committee, which includes alumni representative Bill Allen; Vice President for Student Affairs Winston Crisp; Faculty Athletics Representative Alan Green; Academic Senate President Rebecca Lonergan; Provost Charles Zukoski; and trustees Jeff Smulyan, William McMorrow, and Board Chair Rick Caruso. Importantly, the committee will also include two student-athletes, who will be named shortly. The position will be filled with an experienced and accomplished individual, and I encourage you to share your thoughts and recommendations with the committee via email at

Our Athletics Department puts our student-athletes first by pursuing excellence with integrity. We will build on the traditions and strengths of our exceptional athletics program. Our outstanding coaches, administrators and student-athletes work tirelessly every day both in the classroom and on the playing field, to embody the very best of the Trojan spirit. Our Athletics Department, working together with faculty and staff across the university, is focused on preparing all of our students for success in life, wherever they may go.

We will keep our tremendous Trojan heritage and tradition of strength going forward in all of our athletics programs. There is so much to look forward to and I am excited about our future.


Carol L. Folt

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