Dr. Bradley L. Hewitt has served as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at SIUE since August of 2002. His leadership and determination have brought SIUE to the NCAA Division I level while maintaining the mission and values of the University.The seventh director of athletics in the school's history, Hewitt’s tenure at SIUE has been marked with success on and off the field.
SIUE’s student-athletes have posted 15 consecutive semesters of a cumulative grade point average of better than 3.0. Three teams – volleyball, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball – earned their sport’s respective Sportsmanship Award. The women’s basketball team became the first team to advance to a national postseason event by earning a berth in the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI).
Hewitt's charge to bring SIUE to the NCAA Division I level began in the fall of 2007. With the guidance of the SIUE Reclassification Workgroup and the lead role played by Chancellor Vaughn Vandegrift, the Cougars achieved these goals when the NCAA announced in August 2012 that SIUE was a full-fledged member at the NCAA Division I level. With the announcement, all SIUE sports are fully eligible for conference and NCAA postseason events.
Hewitt has been a major figure in SIUE’s advancement. All of SIUE’s sports now enjoy a conference affiliation. He was able to help secure department-wide membership in the Ohio Valley Conference in July 2008. The Cougars became an affiliate member of the Missouri Valley Conference (men’s soccer) in November 2008. The wrestling program became an affiliate member of the Southern Conference (SoCon) in June 2011.
One of Hewitt’s major successes has been the expansion of the facilities for SIUE Athletics. SIUE expanded its office space for the coaches and administrative staff by opening the Charles and Mary Lukas Athletic Annex to the Vadalabene Center. Every athletic facility has experienced a major upgrade under Hewitt’s watch. The Vadalabene Center received its first major facelift ($5 plus millon) when the facility added new chairback seating, four renovated locker rooms ($1.2 million), concourses, a varsity room, and a video board, among other improvements. Korte Stadium is now a turf facility, and the field events have their own separate area behind the facility ($3 plus million).
Cougar Field (softball) expanded its seating capacity and added a $1 million indoor facility to the west of the field. The indoor facility allows many of SIUE’s sports to have an indoor facility available for practice year-round. The Simmons Baseball Complex continues to undergo changes with the addition of a turf infield, a newly-paved parking lot, and a new locker room space ($350,000). The SIUE cross country facility has directional signs and continues to be one of the region’s top courses.
Hewitt's initial charge was to regain SIUE's storied national success of the 70's and 80's (16 national championships) and expand that success across a broad-based athletic program. During the first six years of his directorship, 48 Cougar teams have competed in their respective Division II NCAA individual or team championships. Additionally, Hewitt helped elevate SIUE's previous best 131st-place finish in the U.S. Sports Academy Directors' Cup to three top-15 and one top-10 finish in the last three years of SIUE's Division II competition. For the 2006-07 seasons, the Cougars won both the prestigious Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) All-Sports Trophy and the Commissioner's Cup. The Cougars won the All-Sports Trophy with 141.5 points, the highest total points recorded in a single season since the award was conceived more than 25 years ago. The pinnacle of SIUE's Division II achievement was a national championship in 2007 for softball--SIUE's first national championship since May 1989.
Dr. Hewitt began his SIUE career in 1989 as an assistant athletic director. In that role, he played a major part as the University's venue manager for the United States Olympic Festival `94 track and field and wrestling events. Since the fall of 1994, Hewitt has held several positions at SIUE including Acting Chief Executive Officer of the SIUE Foundation and Acting Vice Chancellor of University Relations (1998-2000), adjunct graduate professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Education (1996-present), Acting Alumni Director twice, Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Athletic Development.
Dr. Hewitt has a diverse background in intercollegiate athletics. Before coming to SIUE, he was the director of sports marketing and associate head football coach at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa; the recruiting coordinator and assistant football coach at Southern Illinois University Carbondale; and recruiting coordinator, track event manager, and assistant football coach at his alma mater The University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo.
Hewitt earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1981 from the University of Central Missouri as well as a master's degree in athletic administration in 1982. Hewitt completed his Ph.D. in education specializing in leadership theory and organizational competence at SIUC in 1994.
Dr. Hewitt has been a highly-active member of the area community serving as a member of the board of directors for the St. Louis Sports Commission since 1999, a member of the board of directors for the Edwardsville-Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Governors for the Prairie State Games, and as a member of the State Games of America Board of Directors. He is presently serving as a member of the Edwardsville District 7 School Board.
Dr. Ed Hightower, Superintendent of District 7 and well-known NCAA basketball referee, describes Hewitt as a 24/7 guy. "Brad gives his university, his colleagues, his student-athletes, his community, and his friends’ enthusiasm, dedication, commitment, and energy 24 hours a day, 7 days a week."
In 2006, Hewitt graduated from the executive management program at the Sports Management Institute which provides specialized executive programs for sports management professionals. The Sports Management Institute was developed in 1989 as a joint venture of the athletic departments and business administration schools of the University of Southern California, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of North Carolina. A member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Hewitt has made leadership presentations multiple times for SIUE's Kimmel Leadership Center as well as at conferences and universities around the country.
Significant fund-raising success (especially in facility development) has been a capstone of Hewitt's professional career. He has been directly responsible for securing several multimillion dollar facility gifts and pledges ($10 million plus in total) for the University. These gifts helped build the 12,000 sq. ft. Birger Hall (SIUE's Foundation and Alumni Building), the 1,500 seat Simmons Baseball Complex, and the 6,000 sq. ft. softball stadium/clubhouse. He was a significant member of the SIUE Foundation team that achieved exponential growth in the Foundation's annual giving campaign and endowments.