By Elena Ciulli
44 years later — Bill Jurgens, long time Florida Tech athletic director, has been promoted to vice president of international relations.
Jurgens became Florida Tech’s athletic director in 1976, helping Florida Tech build 18 different sports and recruiting over 500 student-athletes. In his time as athletic director, Florida Tech won five NCAA titles: two in men’s soccer, two in women’s golf and one in swimming, as well as 35 conference team championships.
In May, Jurgens will begin his position as Vice President for University Relations.
“It is something that I really want to do because I want to have a greater impact on the University,” Jurgens said.
After 44 years as an athletic director, Jurgens will assist President T. Dwayne McCay with community responsibilities and developing awareness for Florida Tech. Jurgen’s experience in the athletic department will allow him to promote the university through different areas such as sustaining optimum performances and what it takes to be a team player.
Student-athletes seem to be sad that Jurgens is leaving the athletic department, but wish him the best of luck in his new position. Tania Kottke, a volleyball player majoring in business, is one particular athlete that will miss Jurgens as an athletic director.
“It’s sad that Bill will not be in the athletic department anymore,” Kottke said.
“But the legacy and the connections he built during his time will help him succeed in his new position.”
According to Jurgens, getting more exposure and showing excitement for the university will be crucial. “I love Florida Tech for a variety of reasons,” Jurgens said. “FIT is a great academic institution and the people who work here are great.”
During his career, Jurgens had the chance to build strong relationships, which allowed him to meet numerous people, who became colleagues and eventually friends.
One of those relationships started over 30 years ago, with the man that will act as interim athletic director until the position is filled, Pete Mazzone.
Arriving at Florida Tech in 1985, Mazzone has been involved with the university in a variety of roles: assistant athletic director, intramural director, game manager, teacher and head coach of the cross country team.
Years of experience brought Mazzone to be the candidate for the athletic director role, after being Florida Tech’s associate athletic director for years prior. “ It’s a new challenge and I am excited to implement my plans,” Mazzone said.
Students like Pauline Cosson and Malte Stockhausen, both part of the cross country team, have welcomed the news regarding Mazzone’s upcoming position. The two seniors have full trust in their coach, relying on his organization and leadership skills. “ I am sure coach Mazzone will do a fantastic job,” said Stockhausen, a senior majoring in marine biology. “He has always been very organized and fair to everyone, being a great example to all the student-athletes.”
Jurgens and Mazzone will work together in a transition period until Jurgens assumes his new role on May 1.
As for now, any relevant changes have been communicated to all the Florida Tech athletic teams.
“Coach Mazzone deserved the role, and I am happy that all his hard work has paid off. I know he will be successful, ” Cosson said.