Faison said Dec. 31 will be his final day as UND’s 15th director of athletics, but he will serve as a special advisor to UND athletics from Jan. 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as director of athletics for the University of North Dakota,” Faison said in a statement. “I want to thank our coaches, student-athletes, administrators, support staff, and the most amazing fans in intercollegiate athletics for all of their efforts in making UND such a special and unique athletics program. Retirement is never an easy decision when you love what you do. My wife and I began thinking about retirement about a year ago and the timing now just seems right for us and for the university.”
Faison has seen UND athletics through enormous changes in his 10 years, such as managing the five-year process to move all UND sports to Division I (a status UND men’s hockey has enjoyed for decades), the collection of an impressive number of conference titles, a national title (men’s hockey in 2016), conference realignments, the addition of the UND Athletics High Performance Center, the success of student-athletes in the classroom as well as on the court, field, and ice, and the transition to a new nickname and logo, the Fighting Hawks.
“Brian has played a large role in the success of North Dakota men’s hockey throughout his tenure at UND,” said North Dakota hockey coach Brad Berry in a news release. “He has been very supportive of and instrumental in the creation and growth of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Brian will always be known for his integrity and his respect for student-athletes. He will leave UND as a national champion in our program and we wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”
NCHC commissioner Josh Fenton added: “Brian Faison is a person of integrity and class with great ability to be and act as a visionary for those who work with him. The National Collegiate Hockey Conference owes an incredible amount to him for his work in establishing and building our great organization. Simply, the success of the NCHC does not happen without the efforts from people like Brian. The membership of the NCHC and I will miss Brian’s leadership moving forward, but wish him nothing but the best in the future.”
UND will begin a national search for Faison’s replacement, chaired by UND provost and VP for academic affairs Thomas DiLorenzo.