FORT WAYNE, Ind.—J. Tommy Bell, director of athletics and recreation at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW), has announced he will step down from his position later this summer to take a similar position at Western Illinois University.
“Tommy has been with IPFW for six years and in that time has helped usher Athletics into a new era with marked successes, including a record 2012–2013 season,” said Chancellor Vicky Carwein. “We wish him the best as he takes on a new role and are looking forward to many more Athletics department successes.”
Since coming to IPFW in 2007, Bell has overseen major Athletics successes including six NCAA tournament berths, five regular-season Summit League championships, 186 Summit League Players of the Week, 152 All-Summit League Selections, 13 Players of the Year, six Coaches of the Year, and three Academic All-Americans.
"I am excited to be starting a new chapter in my career at Western Illinois University," said Bell. "However, the new step means leaving a great institution at IPFW. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to succeed at IPFW, particularly from Chancellor Vicky Carwein and Vice Chancellor for Financial Affairs Walt Branson. My family and I have made many great friends at IPFW, and wish the university and the athletic department nothing but the best going forward."
The 2012–13 season was the strongest on record for IPFW as an NCAA Division I member, with three teams qualifying for the NCAA Tournament and an overall winning percentage of .530. Additionally, student-athletes had an athletics department record 3.18 combined GPA— the department's 10th straight year with a combined GPA over 3.0—with 69 percent of the student-athletes finishing the year with at least a 3.0 grade point average.
Over the next few weeks a transition plan will be developed and an interim director of athletics and recreation will be named. The search for a new director will begin immediately.