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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

John Blanchard retires after 25 years

Senior Associate Director of Athletics John Blanchard is retiring from the University after 25 years in student services and academic support to open his own consulting business.

Since 2002, Blanchard has been the director of student-athlete services, a unit he helped create when he returned to Chapel Hill after a stint at the University of Minnesota. Student services includes career planning, life skills, community service, the Baddour Carolina Leadership Academy and programs that enhance the overall student experience and welfare.

Blanchard said he was privileged to work for outstanding athletic directors and coaches through the years, and the students would always have a place in his heart. “The thousands of students I have served have fueled my passion for education and student development, challenged me and taught me,” he said.

Blanchard served as the athletic department’s liaison with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the College of Arts and Sciences’ Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes and the Faculty Committee on Athletics. He designed and initiated programming in the Carolina Leadership Academy that began training student-athletes in 2004.

“The leadership academy is a model program for schools all across the country and is so highly regarded because of the vision that [former athletic director] Dick Baddour and John Blanchard had,” said Director of Athletics Bubba Cunningham. “John is a tireless advocate for students, education and leadership development.”

A 1975 graduate of Stanford University, Blanchard came to Carolina as the first director of the Academic Support Program for Student-Athletes from 1985 to 1999. He developed the program with then-athletic director John Swofford.

Blanchard is on the Executive Committee for the Sports Management Institute. He also worked with the Kansas City Royals for seven years as coordinator of leadership development and served as member and chair of the NCAA’s Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct.

“John was one of the key leaders on Dick Baddour’s team who canvassed the country to learn about leadership development and training,” said Lissa L. Broome, Wells Fargo Professor of Banking Law and Carolina’s Faculty Athletics Representative.

“He helped fashion the leadership academy into what is likely the most comprehensive and preeminent leadership program in the country for student-athletes, coaches and administrators. We will miss John’s many contributions to the University and our students.”