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Michael Garrett

Michael Garrett, a Heisman Trophy running back and former athletic director for the University of Southern California will be announced as the next director of athletics at Langston University during a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday in the C. F. Gayles Atrium, a university representative said Tuesday.

Garrett, who spent 17 years as USC’s athletic director and was a record-setting running back for the Trojans, will succceed Patric Simon who resigned in April to take a similar position at Alcorn State University in Mississippi. Garrett is expected to take over the position in July.

“We are pleased that Mr. Garrett has bought into our vision of moving our athletic programs and university to a higher level of competition and visibility,” said Langston University President Kent Smith Jr. “Langston University has a long-standing history of excellence when it comes to athletics. Whether we are talking about our numerous conference championships in football and basketball, or our national standings in track and field and cross country, or the rising success of our relatively new softball program, our student-athletes have proven that they have the athletic prowess and mental capacity to compete academically and athletically anywhere in the country.”

“Mike Garrett is just the type of leader we need to take our athletic program to the ultimate level and put Langston University’s name at the top of the list of schools that are serious about competing on and off the field while maintaining a high level of academic excellence and winning with integrity,” Smith added. “It is with great pleasure that we welcome a man whose experience and abilities are a perfect fit for us in growing our program to be the best in the nation.”

Garrett set several NCAA rushing records and went on to star for the Kansas City Chiefs in the National Football League. The two-time All-American and 1965 Heisman Trophy-winning running back was inducted to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

As the athletic director at USC, Garrett oversaw a program that won 23 national titles in 10 sports, won 48 conference titles, and finished in the Top 10 among 354 Division I universities in the Director’s Cup all-sports standings during nearly all of his 17 years at the helm, but was fired in July 2010 after being in charge during major violations by the football and men’s basketball programs at USC involving Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo.

Garrett graduated from USC in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and earned a law degree from Western State University College of Law in Fullerton, California, in 1986.

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