President Mark B. Rosenberg announced a contract extension for FIU Executive Director of Sports and Entertainment Pete Garcia to July 31, 2021.
Although Garcia had previously indicated he would not seek renewal of his contract beyond July 31, 2018, university leadership asked him to remain with FIU after two very successful years for FIU student-athletes, both on and off the field.
“Pete has assembled a strong team and he has taken our athletics program to new heights,” Rosenberg said. “We wanted to keep the momentum going after all that our student-athletes have accomplished under his leadership. We are thrilled to have him with us for another three years.”
Among the highlights of the past two years, FIU hired legendary football coach Butch Davis and the FIU football team made its first post-season bowl appearance since 2011.
The 2017 season was a major step forward for the FIU women’s cross country program as the squad posted one of the best seasons in school history for the sport. Likewise, FIU women’s tennis posted one of its best seasons in recent history after the Panthers downed Rice to win the school’s first Conference USA championship in program history. The beach volleyball team made it to the NCAA finals and was ranked ninth in the country, while the Panthers Swimming & Diving program captured the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) crown and their fourth consecutive Conference USA Championship.
Last year, the men’s soccer team finished the regular season as one of two unbeaten teams in the country. Their 15-game unbeaten streak is the longest since 1991. FIU also claimed the program’s first Conference USA regular-season title with a 6-0-2 record in league play.
Under Garcia’s leadership, FIU student-athletes did well off the field as well: All 16 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship athletic programs at FIU finished above the required multi-year score of 930. Eight teams secured perfect single-year scores in 2016-17, with baseball, women’s basketball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, women’s golf, men’s soccer, women’s tennis and women’s volleyball posting a 1,000 for the season.
In that time, Garcia also has overseen approximately $14 million in renovations and upgrades to athletics facilities, including the football and soccer stadiums, the Ocean Bank Convocation Center, and completion of the softball and golf complex.
Garcia took the helm of FIU Athletics in 2006 and oversaw the program’s transition from the Sunbelt Conference to Conference USA in 2012. During Garcia’s tenure, FIU teams have won 19 conference championships and played in 29 post-season games. More than two dozen student-athletes have garnered All-America selection.
“I would like to thank President Rosenberg and our Board of Trustees for their continued support,” said Garcia. “I am proud of all that we have accomplished together. We have incredible coaches, student-athletes and staff and I’m excited about our future.”