Oct. 5, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame CHAMPS/Life Skills Program has been identified as one of the best in the nation by the NCAA Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association.

Notre Dame received one of four program of excellence awards at the Association’s Sept. 25 awards dinner in Dallas.

Honored along with Notre Dame were Arizona State University, the University of Iowa and Michigan State University.

Representing Notre Dame at the event was director of life skills Jannifer Crittendon.

The awards were presented by Gene Hooks, director of the NCAA Division I-A Athletic Directors’ Association CHAMPS Program and by Dutch Baughman, executive director of the Association.

“It’s a tremendous honor for Notre Dame’s Life Skills Program to earn this sort of national recognition,” says Notre Dame director of athletics Kevin White.

“This is based on events that occurred prior to my arrival on campus, but it’s a great credit to what (associate athletic director) Tom Kelly, Jannifer and (assistant director of life skills) Eric Guerra have accomplished in a few short years. They built the program from scratch, and we’re proud to say it’s already rated with the best of its kind anywhere in the country.”

Notre Dame’s Life Skills Program currently is under the direction of Bernard Muir, associate athletic director for student-athlete welfare.

In existence since August 1996, Notre Dame’s Life Skills Program is committed to the total development of the University’s student-athletes. It fosters the cultivation of skills that allow for their maximization on and off the playing field.

The program develops and implements events and activities which are designed to facilitate learning in five key areas: academic excellence, athletic success, career preparation, community involvement and personal development.

By the time a Notre Dame student-athlete graduates, he or she will have participated in approximately 40 hours of required skill building and development workshops in each key area. All freshmen and their parents participate in orientation sessions designed to assist in the transition into the University and to inform them about the Life Skills Program as well as other support services.

The program continues to grow and evolve to fit the needs of the student-athletes and to ensure that when they graduate they are fully prepared for the ultimate competitive challenge — life.