Clemson athletics director Terry Don Phillips. (Aug. 9, 2012/FOX Carolina)
CLEMSON, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -
Clemson University Director of Athletics Terry Don Phillips has announced he will retire in 2013.
Phillips has held the position since 2002 and a search for his replacement will begin this fall, according to university president James F. Barker.
The university will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon about the retirement.
"As I am now in the final year of my contract, I have decided to publicly announce my retirement plans, so that President Barker can have as much time and flexibility as is needed to conduct a search and ensure a smooth transition in leadership," Phillips said. "I'm very proud of what we have accomplished at Clemson, and I believe the future for the athletics program is bright."
Since Phillips took over, there have been 57 Top 25 finishes, 13 Atlantic Coast Conference championships, 77 winning seasons by teams and the football team has been bowl eligible every year.
Barker said his goal is to have a successor named by the time Phillips' contract ends in July 2013 so that there is no need to appoint an interim director.
Phillips said Thursday he is eager to spend more time with his wife, Tricia. They plan to make Clemson their home after retirement.
"I am very blessed to have a wonderful wife," said Phillips. "Its important that we have more time together and I am looking forward to that."
During Phillips' tenure, Clemson has been nationally recognized for its academic progression rates and had a record 2.99 overall grade-point-average by student athletes for the spring semester of 2012.
On average, 53 percent of Clemson student athletes have had at least a 3.0 GPA during the last 10 years.
Clemson also invested $140 million in its athletics programs since Phillips took over.
Though football and men's basketball have seen success during the 10 years, some programs like baseball and women's basketball have slipped in the past several years, leaving many fans and critics questioning Phillips' choices.
Phillips was recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics as the 2005-2006 General Sports Turf Systems Athletic Director of the Year for the Southeast Region of the Football Bowl Series.
Earlier in 2012, the Bleacher Report named Phillips one of the nation's Top 25 athletic directors.
Phillips athletic's administrative career started in 1980 when he became the athletic director at Liberty University, then went to Louisiana-Lafayette in 1983, before returning to his alma mater, the University of Arkansas, in 1988 as Senior Associate Athletic Director.
Phillips stayed at Arkansas until 1994, then moved to Oklahoma State University.
Under Phillips, the Cowboys basketball team reached the NCAA Final Four in 1995 and the Elite Eight in 2000. For the Cowboys football team, Phillips hired coach Les Miles in 2001.
In 2002 Phillips left Oklahoma State for Clemson where he hired basketball coaches Oliver Purnell in 2003 and Brad Brownell in 2010. He also promoted Dabo Swinney to head football coach and oversaw the "WestZone" expansion of Memorial Stadium in 2006.
Phillips was inducted into the University of Arkansas Razorback Sports Hall of Honor in 2010. He was a defensive linemen, helping Arkansas to two trips to the Sugar Bowl. He played from 1966 to 1969.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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