Former Minn. women’s AD Voelz to receive award

University of Minnesota’s last women’s athletics director Chris Voelz will be honored with a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Andrew Krammer


University of MinnesotaâÄôs last womenâÄôs athletics director Chris Voelz has received a 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.

Voelz, who served the University for 14 years, will be honored with the award along with three others Oct. 10 at the NACWAA National Convention in Pittsburgh.

During her tenure from 1988 to 2002, Voelz saw athletic accomplishments, academic achievements and fundraising revenue reach all-time highs. She was personally involved in raising more than $16 million for new facilities.

Those facilities include the Sports Pavilion, which houses womenâÄôs basketball, volleyball and gymnastics, as well as menâÄôs wrestling and gymnastics; and the UniversityâÄôs Aquatic Center, which houses the menâÄôs and womenâÄôs diving teams.

Voelz was also key in soliciting donations for new womenâÄôs facilities in soccer, softball, tennis and hockey.

The WomenâÄôs Athletic Department had 25 consecutive academic terms of achieving a 3.0 GPA or higher and held graduation rates well above the University and national averages under Voelz.

When the University merged the MenâÄôs and WomenâÄôs Athletic Departments in 2002, Voelz and menâÄôs athletics director Tom Moe both refused to apply for the new position.

At the time, the University was one of only five major programs to have separate athletic departments for men and women.