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By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Vogel to depart from GW Athletics

Hatchet File Photo
GW Athletics Director Tanya Vogel will depart from her position to join the Pictor Group consulting firm.

Athletics Director Tanya Vogel will depart from her role at GW after serving for six years, according to a University release Tuesday.

Vogel, who took the helm of Athletics in 2018, helped oversee 19 conference championships for GW’s athletics programs and record-high fundraising. The release states that Parker Executive Search will lead a national search for a new director and Vogel will remain at GW to transition the new hire before joining the Pictor Group consulting firm.

“Tanya has an incredible ability to create a culture of excellence, commitment and respect among student-athletes, coaches and staff,” University President Ellen Granberg said in the release. “In every role she has had at GW, she has led with distinction, supporting our student-athletes with warmth, care and tireless devotion.”

Vogel is a Class of 1996 women’s soccer alum and became the first GW Athletic Hall of Fame inductee from the program in 2002. She served as head coach of women’s soccer from 2000 until 2011, before taking a position as the school’s Assistant Director of Athletic Development.

Vogel told the GW Athletic Advisory Council of her upcoming departure announcement in an email, stating that she found it challenging to tackle collegiate athletics’ “macro issues” from her position at GW, according to a post on X by WRGW Sports Blog Editor Liam O’Murchu.

She said in the email that her departure was “not an easy decision” to make, and that she looks forward to finding the “right path forward” for college athletes as a consultant for Pictor Group. She added that she is confident in GW’s leadership to guide athletics following her exit.

“From our Trustees to our beloved new president to our colleagues across campus, we have alignment and strength,” Vogel said. “GW Athletics is positioned well to continue to be the most visible display of discipline and excellence for the University.”

Vogel replaced former Athletic Director Patrick Nero after his resignation in December 2017 following a sex discrimination lawsuit. Officials named Vogel, who at the time served as senior associate athletic director, as the acting replacement for Nero until her official hiring in July of 2018.  

The release states that Vogel prioritized academic achievements as director, with student-athletes earning a department record 3.62 GPA in spring 2020. In spring 2016, during Nero’s tenure, the school set a previous department record with a 3.27 cumulative GPA. GW athletes graduated at a rate of 94 percent in 2023, above the NCAA average of 91 percent that year. 

Under her leadership, the Athletics Department cut seven athletics programs, including men’s rowing and men’s tennis in July 2020, citing financial concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The release states that athletics has set fundraising records during Vogel’s tenure, with more than 2,300 donors making financial contributions during the 2023-24 academic year. During the 2023 Buff & Blue Challenge, the athletic department raised $462,797, more than tripling the original goal of $150,000. Athletics launched the 1732 Circle, a society of donors that gives exclusive access to GW coaches with donations of at least $25,000 in November 2022.

As athletic director, Vogel oversaw renovations at GW’s baseball field, Tucker Field at Barcroft Park, and installed a new video board and opened the Fassnacht Clubhouse. She also oversaw updates to the upper and lower bowls of the Charles E. Smith Center and an “improved” Tin Tabernacle Club.

Vogel’s final months of her tenure were marred by turmoil over the Smith Center’s pool, as officials abandoned plans to demolish the pool and construct basketball facilities in its place due to unforeseen costs and delays to construction, which sparked more than 10 swimmers to enter the transfer portal. 

Earlier this month, swimming and diving Head Coach Brian Thomas announced his resignation following three consecutive years of championships for the men’s and women’s teams. 

Men’s basketball, which is GW’s highest revenue generating team raking in almost $5 million per year, saw zero winning seasons during Vogel’s six years as athletic director, with three different head coaches leading the program throughout her tenure. From the 2013-14 to 2016-17 seasons, the last full seasons prior to Vogel’s leadership, men’s basketball saw four-straight winning seasons, including a trip to the NCAA tournament in 2014 and an NIT championship in 2016

“Tanya is quick to remind students and staff that our team culture is critical, and our competitive advantage is seen in how we treat one another,” Vice Provost for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Colette Coleman said in the release. “Tanya has led with empathy, understanding, accountability and grace. She is a leader who has helped countless students find belonging at GW, grow and thrive.”

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