After 22 years as athletics director, Rob Fournier has decided to retire from Wayne State University.
Rob has made enormous contributions to our athletics program during his time here, including the expansion of our facilities to include our new basketball arena, developed in concert with the Detroit Pistons to accommodate the Motor City Cruise; Harwell Field; our multipurpose building; and other field and facility upgrades.
During Rob's tenure, Wayne State teams have won 41 conference championships, 17 conference tournament championships and 51 conference coach-of-the-year honors. In addition to success in competition, the Department of Athletics is also consistently ranked among the national leaders in community service, including being ranked 13th in the country for the 2021-22 academic year.
Rob also expanded programming to ensure our students have a wide array of fitness and competitive opportunities, from varsity sports and intramurals to myriad forms of exercise. Rob has built up the athletic department’s reserve to more than $2 million due to his diligent fundraising. In addition, in an achievement we are all very proud of, Rob created an annual celebration of Wayne State’s women’s athletics, known as W-Day/Week.
I think we can safely say that today’s Wayne State’s athletics department is far beyond what it was when Rob arrived in 2000, and we all are the beneficiaries of this development.
For me, Rob’s most important contribution has been his focus on the success of student-athletes. In many universities, student-athletes are athletes first, students second. Under Rob’s leadership, our students excelled on the field and in the classroom, and Rob and his team celebrated both. Wayne State's Department of Athletics had 21 All-American student-athletes during the 2021-22 academic year, bringing its total to 381 All-Americans over the last 15 years. During the winter 2022 semester, the entire student-athlete population earned a 3.29 GPA, with a cumulative GPA for all student-athletes at 3.38.
Rob’s retirement commences today, and we will announce the appointment of an interim athletic director soon. Please join me in wishing Rob well in his future endeavors and thanking him for his extraordinary contributions to Wayne State University.
M. Roy Wilson