George Mason signs AD Brad Edwards to five-year extension
George Mason University President Ángel Cabrera announced Wednesday a five-year contract extension for Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Brad Edwards that will run through the 2023 academic year.
“I’m truly grateful to work under a dynamic leader in President Cabrera and I’m honored to continue to lead George Mason Athletics,” Edwards said. “Our athletics staff is passionate and committed to the welfare and development of our more than 400 student-athletes. It is a privilege to work alongside such a talented group of coaches, administrators and staff. For the past three decades, I’ve had a special connection to George Mason and the Northern Virginia area (as a former Washington Redskins’ safety who won a Super Bowl with the franchise during the 1991 season).
“I’m proud and honored to be part of this outstanding and world-renowned academic research institution that prides itself on international diversity. During my past four years as the director of athletics, the fans and donors of #MasonNation have been extremely supportive and dedicated to our athletics program. We are excited and encouraged about the strong progress we have made and look forward to a promising future.”
Since arriving at Mason in July of 2014, Edwards has guided the department to significant achievements, including record-high revenues in sponsorships and fundraising. Edwards has secured more than $20 million in revenue and commitments, highlighted by a naming rights partnership with EagleBank, a multi-year partnership with adidas and a long-term corporate sponsorships agreement with Learfield. In addition, the department has secured a multi-year sports performance partnership with Vivature and has benefited from more than $5.8 million in generous gifts from Patriot Club supporters.
The men’s basketball team has improved from 12th to fifth place in the three years since Edwards and President Cabrera hired coach Dave Paulsen, with its best finish in the five years in the basketball-centric Atlantic 10 Conference. The women’s basketball team also enjoyed a successful 2017-18 campaign in which the Patriots set a school record with 24 wins, won a postseason game (WNIT) for the first time in program history and posted their highest finish since joining the A-10 (fourth).
“Brad is a strong and respected leader not just in the athletic program, but the university at large, our community, and intercollegiate athletics nationally,” Cabrera said. “He has elevated the university’s athletic profile, has improved our academic performance, and has made important contributions to establish the Atlantic 10 Conference among the best in the nation. Brad has a bold vision for Mason athletic programs and facilities and is a tireless advocate for the university. His continued leadership of our athletics department is a decisive win for Mason.”
During Edwards’ tenure, he has emphasized the importance of providing outstanding athletics facilities for Mason Athletics programs. He recently delivered a complete overhaul of the basketball teams’ locker rooms at EagleBank Arena with new lockers and benches, a team lounge, a film room and upgraded technologies in time for the 2018-19 season.
The locker room transformation project is part of the George Mason Athletics Basketball Excellence Plan. The $2.2 million, privately-funded Phase I of the project includes the locker room renovation, as well as elements completed in 2017. Those elements include the programs’ exclusive practice facility and the first-ever center-hung videoboard and lighting in EagleBank Arena.
“As chairman of the Patriot Club, we couldn’t be more pleased with the accomplishments and strong leadership Brad has provided for the Mason athletic department, and we are elated to see his vision continue with the contract extension,” said Paul Kyle. “In four short years, Brad has been a difference maker, especially in transforming our facilities, including the dedicated basketball practice facility and the newly renovated basketball locker rooms in EagleBank Arena, providing our teams with the tools needed to compete on a national level.”
The Mason baseball team played its 2017 season at Spuhler Field after a $1.3 million stadium renovation project, highlighted by brand new dugouts and a major league designed fence and backstop.
In Edwards’ continued efforts on facility enhancements, the next step in the Basketball Excellence Plan, Phase II, will consist of complete design and construction of an addition to the Basketball Practice Facility. The scope of the project includes adding practice facility locker rooms, training and sports medicine performance areas and offices for the coaching staffs.
George Mason teams have won 11 conference championships since joining the Atlantic 10. Under Edwards’ leadership, 12 Patriot student-athletes have earned bids to NCAA Championships and Mason student-athletes have had tremendous success in the classroom. Five Patriots have earned Google Cloud Academic All-America Honors, marking the highest total in school history in a four-year period.
Mason has produced 129 Provost Scholar Athletes (3.75 GPA or plus) during Edwards’ tenure. Additionally, Mason’s A-10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll selections have doubled in just three years from 126 student-athletes in the fall of 2015 to a record 251 in the 2018 spring semester. Mason student-athletes combined to earn an overall 3.2 cumulative GPA in 2017-18, marking the highest composite in more than a decade.