CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose announced she is stepping down Thursday. Rose will be retiring at the end of the academic 2017-18 calendar year, effective June 30.
Rose is in her 43rd year with the university and her 28th year as the director of athletics.
"This was entirely Judy's decision and I respect her desire to enjoy retirement with her husband, Ken," UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois said. "I will miss working with her, both personally and professionally. Her work ethic, values, integrity, commitment to student success, and understanding of college athletics will make finding her successor a most difficult challenge. She has left a legacy that will be nearly impossible to match."
Rose was the third woman to lead an NCAA Division 1 athletics program, the university says.
"I'm privileged to have worked for three great chancellors," Rose said.
Dubois indicated that he will chair the search for the next athletic director.
The Charlotte 49ers have added seven sports under Rose's guidance, including women's soccer, men's and women's indoor and outdoor track and field, football and women's golf, the university says.
Rose has been under fire from 49ers fans unhappy with the direction of the athletics program, particularly in the marquee sports of football and basketball, the Charlotte Observer reports. Dubois, speaking on WFNZ-AM in December, supported Rose.
"We have 17 sports - and two are very, very important to us and our fans," Dubois said. "That's life in the NCAA and college sports. But if we look at the big picture over 27 years, she has (overseen) a department that has a $29 million budget and hundreds of students going through excellent training and academic support. We have over $100 million in new facilities and not a hint of a (major) NCAA violation and a 93 percent graduation rate. Contrary to the narrative out there, our fundraising is very solid."
Rose called the decision "difficult" with the love she has for the university and athletic program.
Click here to read more from the university on Rose.