Named Stanford’s Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics on July 27, 2012, Bernard Muir begins his 10th season in 2021-22.
Through nine years under Muir’s leadership, Stanford has maintained its reputation as the most successful intercollegiate athletic department in the nation. Muir has presided over the most successful stretch in school history, with the Cardinal having won 25 NCAA championships and 34 national titles overall during his tenure. Since Muir’s arrival, Stanford has won the Learfield IMG College Directors’ Cup seven times, in addition to claiming eight Capital One Cups (five women, three men).
Stanford has also extended one of the most recognizable streaks in college athletics under Muir’s guidance, winning at least one NCAA team championship in each of the last 45 seasons, the longest such streak in the country.
The most recent NCAA crowns came from women’s basketball and men’s gymnastics, highlighting a 2020-21 campaign in which Stanford, which also secured a third national championship in synchronized swimming, completed a sweep of the Capital One Cup with victories in the men’s and women’s divisions. The Cardinal nearly repeated its 2017-18 success and made it a clean sweep of all three national awards, but managed a runner-up Directors’ Cup finish, snapping a historic 25-year reign as the award’s annual recipient. Stanford’s success in 2020-21 was even more impressive considering the abbreviated seasons experienced by many of its programs due to the COVID-19 global pandemic and accompanying county restrictions.
Stanford’s most decorated season under Muir came in 2018-19, capturing NCAA championships in women's volleyball, women's swimming and diving, men's gymnastics, women's water polo, women's tennis and men's golf. The Cardinal’s six titles matched its own NCAA record for an academic year, having also won six in 1996-97. Stanford rounded out its athletic campaign with a national championship in IRA lightweight rowing.
Three years after overtaking rival UCLA as the nation’s all-time leader in NCAA team championships, Stanford now enters the 2021-22 campaign with 128, nine more than the Bruins’ 119.
Stanford’s commitment to academic achievement under Muir remains as strong as ever, registering an overall graduation rate of 96 percent in the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR), with 16 varsity teams earning a 100 percent graduation rate. The fifth year of the Rubenstein-Bing Student-Athlete Civic Engagement (ACE) Program also yielded positive results, as 29 teams have been represented in the three-week, immersive summer service volunteer program since 2016.
Muir has also been intentional about keeping Stanford well-positioned nationally through departmental initiatives such as NIL education and opportunities, enhanced diversity, equity and inclusion programming, social justice and anti-racism advisory support and student-athlete well-being and mental health awareness.
In 2018-19, Muir unveiled a comprehensive Strategic Plan for DAPER (Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation), developing a multi-faceted roadmap designed to accomplish the department’s mission of Inspiring Champions in Life.
Several of DAPER’s notable facility upgrades have been launched during Muir’s tenure, including the following: Arrillaga Family Sports Center addition, Home of Champions and Sydney & Theodore Rosenberg Stanford Athletics Hall of Fame, Stanford Stadium fieldhouse, Sunken Diamond renovation, Laird Q. Cagan Stadium expansion, Siebel Training Complex, Beach Volleyball Stadium, Arrillaga Outdoor Education & Recreation Center and Stanford Golf Course renovation. Recently completed projects include Arrillaga Hall, which houses the Athletic Academic Resource Center and a rowing training center, and various renovations of Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium.
Meanwhile, DAPER continues to experience a consistent wave of fundraising support, with 14 coach/director endowments created during Muir’s tenure.
In addition to its varsity sports, DAPER supports campus-wide physical education academic classes, fitness and wellness, aquatics, intramurals, adventure programming and 33 club sports. Stanford’s eight recreational facilities welcome more than one million visits annually.
Muir was among four new members added to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) Board of Trustees in July 2021, contributing to the organization’s mission in advancing girls and women in sports through research, advocacy, community programming and a wide variety of collaborative partnerships. Muir has also served as a member of the NCAA Gender Equity Task Force committee since 2015.
In July 2020, Muir was appointed to the executive committee of the newly formed Black AD Alliance, whose mission is to grow, develop and elevate Black athletics administrators at the Division I level while partnering with NCAA senior leadership and the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association.
For the 2018-19 season, Muir served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, which oversees all administrative aspects of the NCAA Tournament. A member of USA Basketball’s 12-member Board of Directors since 2017, Muir served as vice chair for the 2017-18 season and began his stint with the committee in 2012.
In October 2017, Muir was appointed to the United States Olympic Committee’s newly-formed Collegiate Advisory Council, the latest step taken by the USOC to increase collaboration with NCAA member institutions and conferences to elevate national engagement and support of Olympic sport opportunities. Additionally, Muir was tabbed to serve on the Bay Area Host Committee executive board in preparation for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship held at Levi’s Stadium.
In 2016, Muir was an Athletic Director of the Year finalist for the Sports Business Journal Awards. In 2015, Muir was a recipient of the NCAA’s prestigious Silver Anniversary Award, which annually recognizes distinguished individuals on the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of their collegiate athletics careers while taking into account professional achievements.
Muir brought nearly 25 years of athletic administrative experience to The Farm from stops at Delaware, Georgetown, Notre Dame, Butler, Auburn and the NCAA. Muir directed Delaware’s athletics program from 2009-12 and was director of athletics at Georgetown from 2005-09.
Before joining the athletics administration at Georgetown, Muir served as deputy director of athletics for administration and facilities at Notre Dame from 2004-05. He also served at Notre Dame as senior associate athletic director for student welfare and development from 2003-04 and as associate athletic director for student welfare and development from 2000-03.
Muir worked for the NCAA from 1998-2000 as director of operations for the Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship and from 1992-98 as assistant director of the Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship.
In 2007, Muir was named to Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal’s “Top 40 Under 40.”
Muir earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown in 1990 and a master’s in sports administration from Ohio in 1992.
As an undergraduate at Brown, Muir was a four-year letterwinner in basketball.
Muir and his wife, Liz, have two daughters, Libby, a 2020 Stanford graduate who also competed as a member of the lacrosse team, and Millie, who is a high school senior.