Former ESPN Head To Join Iona Faculty.jpg

Former ESPN Head To Join Iona Faculty

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Iona College welcomes George Bodenheimer, former president and executive chairman of ESPN, Inc., to its School of Business faculty in the division of Sports, Entertainment and Media, and also announces an alliance with the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The announcement was made at Iona’s fourth SEMI-Annual Honors Reception on November 15 at the Paley Center for Media in Midtown Manhattan.

“We are thrilled to add a Hall of Fame executive in George Bodenheimer to our Sports, Entertainment and Media Business program at Iona College and continue to provide our students with the very best in industry faculty,” said Glenn Horine ’84, ’91MBA, director and adjunct professor for the program. “With the addition of George and Emmy-Award producer Ross Greenburg, our students have the unique opportunity to learn from executives who have blazed the trails in sports media. George’s story of excellence in management and leadership at ESPN will resonate loudly with today’s millennials as they explore career opportunities in the sports, entertainment, and media industry.”

Bodenheimer will join the Iona faculty next fall and co-teach a leadership and management course with Horine. His book Every Town Is A Sports Town, which chronicles the rise of ESPN under his leadership, will be the primary source for the course that also will involve other high-level industry executives. The course will be titled “Leadership and Management in Sports, Entertainment, & Media,” offered to business graduate students as well as undergraduates in the junior and senior class.

Bodenheimer becomes the second major media executive to join Iona’s faculty following Ross Greenburg, former president of HBO Sports and Iona School of Business Executive-in-Residence and Hagan Fellow.

“Our sports, entertainment, and media program continues to emerge and we are humbled by the support that industry leaders such as George and Ross Greenburg have shown in our program,” said Charles Cante, Ph.D., ’72MBA, interim dean of the School of Business. “We are genuinely excited for our students and their opportunity to learn from such accomplished leaders.  We look forward to working with George both in the classroom and in support of the V Foundation.”

Through his role as chairman of The V Foundation’s capital campaign, Not A Moment To Lose, Bodenheimer and Iona will propel the legacy of Jim Valvano, who served as Iona College’s head men’s basketball coach from 1975-1980 and director of athletics from 1977-80. Next year, Iona College and the V Foundation will develop joint fundraising initiatives to raise awareness and donations for critical cancer research and to honor the memory of the legendary coach. The  author’s proceeds from sale of the book will be donated to the V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“I’m excited to share the leadership lessons chronicled in Every Town Is A Sports Town with Iona students with the hope that my leadership and management experience will be something they can take to the job marketplace as they build their careers,” said Bodenheimer. “This also represents an opportunity to connect the V Foundation and the legacy of Jim Valvano in a combined effort to raise awareness and money for cancer research. I am excited to join the faculty with my friend Ross Greenburg and to build on what Glenn has done at Iona and their focus on career intelligence in our industry.”

Bodenheimer is an ESPN and cable industry pioneer. As ESPN’s longest-tenured president, he led an unprecedented period of global growth. He oversaw all multimedia sports assets of the Walt Disney Company and was co-chairman of Disney Media Networks from 2004–2011. In 2012, Bodenheimer assumed the position of Executive Chairman, ESPN, Inc., where he provided strategic direction for ESPN’s global business until he chose to leave the company in May 2014.

Shortly before Valvano’s death in 1993, he and ESPN formed the V Foundation for Cancer Research, an organization dedicated to life-saving cancer research.  At the inaugural ESPY Awards, Valvano announced the Foundation’s motto would be “Don’t Give Up . . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”

Valvano led the Gaels to two NCAA tournaments, in 1979 and 1980, and was inducted into the Iona College Goal Club Hall of Fame in 1994. After leaving Iona, Coach “V” won the 1983 NCAA National Championship as the head coach of North Carolina State and went on to an award-winning career as a television broadcaster with ABC and ESPN.

The fourth SEMI-Annual Honors Reception celebrated Iona alumni working in or connected to the sports, entertainment and media industry (SEMI). In addition to Iona’s faculty announcement, Bodenheimer received a Lifetime Achievement Award. The College also announced a gift from AT&T New York as the first underwriter for the program