Reynolds coming home

Photo by Duane Zehr

By Matt Hawkins
March 18, 2015

Bradley University welcomed Peoria native Dr. Chris Reynolds as its 10th athletic director Wednesday at Renaissance Coliseum. Reynolds, a 1989 Peoria High graduate, received warm greetings from the Bradley community and Missouri Valley Conference administration his first day “home.”

Reynolds was a two-time all-state basketball player and a Parade All-American for Peoria High who led the Lions to a runner-up finish in the 1989 IHSA Class AA tournament. He was inducted into the Greater Peoria Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

“Everyone can go home again,” said Bradley President Joanne Glasser. “Growing up close to Bradley, he would see Bradley’s great hall-of-famers shooting hoops at Haussler Hall. Little did he know time would bring him back full-circle.”

Reynolds relished his first moments back in the hometown spotlight.

“It’s great to be home,” he said. “I’m proud and honored to say ‘yes’ to Bradley and Peoria. I’m excited to be part of the community.”

His responsibilities at Bradley begin immediately and include supervising operations, athletic performance, NCAA compliance, communications and fundraising for Bradley's 15 athletic programs, while serving as a liaison between the athletic department and other units of the University.

“Bradley has an excellent reputation for academics and the athletics facilities are phenomenal,” Reynolds said. “I remember the college environment that Bradley provided was always something special for high school students.  My family and I are very much looking forward to being a part of the Bradley community.” 

"It is gratifying and speaks well for Bradley that such an excellent pool of top athletic administrators expressed interest in the opportunity to lead Bradley athletics,” said Doug Stewart, chair of Bradley’s Board of Trustees. “We are happy to have Chris, his wife and his children as a part of the Bradley family.” 

Reynolds attended Indiana University where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1993, a law degree in 1996, and a Ph.D. in 2012. He has a strong collegiate basketball background as well. As an undergraduate, he was a four-year letter-winner and team captain in his senior year. Reynolds helped lead the Hoosiers to Big Ten titles in 1991 and 1993 as well as the 1992 Final Four.

"Reynolds is an outstanding hire for Bradley University,” said IU Athletic Director Fred Glass. “He is a man of the highest ethical standards and great character. Chris' contagious personality will lift everyone around him. His commitment to and enthusiasm for Bradley University will be evident from day one. Bradley University is to be congratulated for choosing Chris Reynolds.”

Reynolds has served as Deputy Director of Athletics and Recreation, Operations at Northwestern since 2012 with direct responsibility for the planning and management of Recreation, Equipment Operations, and the Facilities and Event Management units; supervised all facets of planning, design, and construction of athletic capital facilities; and managed a diverse array of external relationships including serving as a representative to the City of Evanston. 

“Bradley University has selected a leader that pairs uncompromising values and character with a relentless competitiveness,” said Northwestern Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips. “Chris' broad experience in college athletics, both as a student-athlete and administrator, inform an unassailable commitment to the student-athlete experience. Bradley is extremely fortunate to have Chris leading their athletics department. He represents everything that is great about the college athletics model. We sincerely appreciate all he has done for the Wildcats and I am thrilled for the Reynolds family to have this exciting new opportunity in his hometown, a perfect match."

Prior to Northwestern, Reynolds spent nine years at Indiana holding a variety of senior level positions. He also held a joint appointment as an adjunct professor. His resume extends to Assistant Athletic Director at the University of Notre Dame and he held positions in the athletics departments at Michigan State University and Western Michigan University.

“Chris is an absolute game-changing appointment. Simply put, this is a brilliant hire,” said Duke athletic director Dr. Kevin White, who worked with Reynolds at Notre Dame. “To be sure, Chris is just an outstanding leader. He has unqualified integrity, will always be one of the smartest professionals in the room, while possessing a very unique perspective regarding the plight of the student-athlete. The entire Bradley University community should be terribly proud, for they truly hit the athletics leadership lottery!”

Reynolds and his wife, Katrina, who serves as an assistant dean of students at Northwestern, have two children, Joshua and Olivia.