Debbie Corum to retire as athletic director at Southern Utah University

Deborah Corum has been named interim athletic director at Southern Utah University following the departure of Jason Butikofer, who will join Purdue University as the deputy athletic director on July 18. 2017.

Deborah Corum has been named interim athletic director at Southern Utah University following the departure of Jason Butikofer, who will join Purdue University as the deputy athletic director on July 18. 2017. (Southern Utah University)



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CEDAR CITY — Southern Utah University announced Monday that Athletic Director Debbie Corum will retire.

Corum, who will continue in her role through June 30, has been athletic director for five years but her career in athletics spans nearly 50 years. Corum was the first female athletic director at a Division I school in the state of Utah.

"This has been a difficult decision. I am proud of the work we have accomplished, but now I am looking forward to spending more time with family, which includes seven grandchildren," Corum said. "My heart is with the student-athletes, coaches and staff at SUU. This community embraced me from the start, and I will always be thankful for my time in Cedar City."

In her time at SUU, the Thunderbirds won eight Big Sky Conference team championships and over 80 individual championships.

Corum also oversaw numerous facility upgrades, including the Eccles Sports Performance Center, the Jean and Joe LaPour Academic Center for Student-Athletes, and a team room for women's and men's basketball. The America First Event Center also had new scoreboards installed, and the Eccles Coliseum is currently under construction to receive a new turf field and new scoreboard.

"We are saddened to see Debbie depart SUU, but celebrate her storied career," interim President Mindy Benson said. "She paved the way for women leading university athletic programs and served the university well during her tenure here. I, along with the T-Bird Nation, congratulate Debbie on her retirement."

Corum's professional career began as a high school coach for girls basketball, soccer, softball and volleyball. Shortly after, she was hired by the Southeastern Conference to be the Director of Championships. Corum eventually left that position to become the assistant athletic director at Stanford University.

Eventually, Corum was recruited by Louisiana State University due to her reputation regarding integrity and competence. LSU hired her to be the associate athletic director and to help turn the athletic department around after the school lost a court case regarding Title IX. After four years at LSU, she returned to the SEC as associate commissioner. She held that title for 12 years until the University of Connecticut hired her as their senior associate athletic director until 2016.

After her time at UConn, Corum headed west to begin her career at SUU.

She initially joined the university as the senior associate athletic director in May 2016, but in June 2017 became the interim athletic director following Jason Butikofer's departure. After serving as the interim director for five months, Corum was officially named to the title in November 2017.

Corum plans to retire to the Southeast to be near her children and grandchildren.

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