Janet Cone Named New UNC Asheville Athletics Director
UNC Asheville Chancellor James Mullen has named Janet Cone as the University's new Athletics Director,
pending approval of the UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. Cone is currently Associate Athletics Director at Samford
University in Birmingham, Ala. Chancellor Mullen made the announcement at an April 27 press conference on
"I am extremely excited that Janet is joining the UNC Asheville family.
I have been most impressed with her understanding of our mission as
a liberal arts community, by her integrity, her commitment to excellence and her
work ethic," Chancellor Mullen said. "Our athletics program is at an exciting time in its history, and Janet is
the perfect choice to lead that program to its full potential."
Cone said she is looking forward to getting to work at her new post.
"I am pleased that my journey in collegiate athletics has led me to UNC Asheville, one of the finest liberal arts
institutions in the nation," said Cone. "Its values concerning the proper relationship between academics
and athletics are the values I share.
"UNC Asheville's athletics program is known for its integrity and competitive success," she added. "I look
forward to joining Chancellor Mullen, the faculty, the athletics staff and the student-athletes in writing the next
chapter of excellence at this outstanding institution."
Cone joined Samford in 1996, recruiting and coaching Samford's first women's basketball team. She coached
the Samford Bulldogs for five seasons and in 1999-00 the team posted a 19-10 overall record. In 2001, she was
given the Alabama State Association for Health and Physical Education and Dance Service Award for her
contributions to youth basketball.
She steadily moved up the ranks at Samford to become the Assistant Athletics Director/Senior Women's
Administrator and then Associate Athletics Director. In her most recent position, she had oversight of fiscal
budgets, finances and facilities development. In addition, Cone handled a portion of the day-to-day operations of
the Samford athletic department and was directly involved with corporate sponsorships, marketing and the Samford
Athletic Foundation. She also worked with the department's compliance program in financial aid,
recruiting, play and practice seasons, camps and education.
Bob Roller, the Samford University Athletics Director, has high praise for Cone's work.
"Janet Cone is well prepared for this day. She has been involved in all aspects of our athletics department
here at Samford and is ready to take on this challenge," Roller said. "She will bring a tireless work ethic to UNC
Asheville and will be an advocate for student-athlete welfare. It's a big loss for the Samford Bulldogs and a win
for her new Bulldog program."
Cone graduated magna cum laude from Furman University in 1978, earning a degree in health and
physical education, and lettering in basketball and field hockey. She earned a master's degree in physical
education from the University of South Carolina in 1986.
She is a member of the Women's Sports Foundation, National Association of Collegiate Athletic
Administrators, National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators and the Executive Women's
Cone, a native of Summerville, S.C., is no stranger to Western North Carolina. She was the Head Women's
Basketball Coach at Mars Hill College from 1986-90 and at Western Carolina University from 1990-93. After
coaching at WCU, she moved to Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Fla., where she served as the first full-time
Assistant Athletics Director and as head coach for women's basketball and volleyball. "I'm very happy to be
back in the Carolinas," Cone said. "This is home to me."
Cone succeeds Joni Comstock, who was UNC Asheville's Athletics Director until last December when
she took a similar position at American University. Cone will begin her new duties at UNC Asheville in mid-May.
- Mike Gore, UNCA Sports Information Director, 828/251-6923
- Merianne Epstein, UNCA Public Information Director, 828/251-6676