Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics Josh Centor enters his sixth year at the helm of the Carnegie Mellon Athletics Department. He oversees intercollegiate athletics, club sports, intramurals, physical education and campus recreation. Dr. Centor was appointed Director of Athletics in April 2014, following nine months as Interim Director. He served as Associate Director of Athletics, from 2012-13, and Assistant Director of Athletics from 2008-12.
In July 2017, Dr. Centor was named Associate Vice President for Community Engagement, following a year as Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs Operations. In addition to responsibilities as Director of Athletics, he provides leadership for Dining Services, the Jared L. Cohon University Center and SLICE (Student Leadership, Involvement and Civic Engagement). In his capacity as Associate Dean, Dr. Centor had oversight for Dining, the Cohon Center, Housing Services and Conference and Event Services.
After earning its best finish in the Learfield Directors’ Cup Standings in seven years following the 2016-17 season, the Carnegie Mellon Athletics program recorded the best finish in school history this past year. Led by the women’s golf program’s fifth-place finish at nationals, a Women’s Soccer Sweet 16 appearance, and the best-ever performance at the NCAA Women’s Swimming and Diving Championship, the Tartans had many teams ranked among the nation’s top 10 throughout the year. Academic success continues to be a hallmark of the program, as 16 of the 18 intercollegiate teams had cumulative GPAs above 3.30.
During the 2016-17 academic year, 17 of the program’s 18 intercollegiate teams advanced to various levels of postseason competition, and 10 student-athletes earned CoSIDA Academic All-American honors. Carnegie Mellon also announced the addition of intercollegiate softball as its 19th varsity sport. Softball became the second women’s sport to join the program in the past five years; women’s golf was added in 2014.
Carnegie Mellon has also made important strides in athletics facility development during Dr. Centor’s tenure. In July 2018, Carnegie Mellon opened a fitness center within the new Tepper School of Business building. In May 2016, the university opened a new fitness center as part of the 65,000-square foot expansion to the Jared L. Cohon University Center. Shortly thereafter, free Group Exercise classes in the new facility were made available to all students – undergraduate and graduates. Additionally, locker rooms for football, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field were renovated and modernized.
Three years ago, the department launched the Carnegie Mellon Student-Athlete Alumni Mentoring Program. This one-on-one concept provides student-athletes with an opportunity to connect with hundreds of former Tartans through a formal program designed to introduce them close-up and personal to a myriad of career possibilities. The mentoring program is part of the Carnegie Mellon Student-Athlete Leadership Development Program, which provides students with an opportunity to participate in a formal, four-year curriculum.
Prior to arriving at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Centor worked at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis from 2005-08. At the NCAA, he started the Association’s New Media department and worked closely with NCAA President Myles Brand on multiple initiatives. He helped launch Champion Magazine, and served as an advisor to the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
Dr. Centor received his Ph.D. in higher education management from the University of Pittsburgh. His dissertation research focused on strategic planning and resource allocation at elite private universities in the United States. He also holds a master’s degree in applied communication from Indiana University, Purdue University-Indianapolis. A 2004 graduate from Brandeis University, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in international business, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and played four years of varsity baseball.
Dr. Centor has an adjunct faculty appointment at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College and taught a graduate course on higher education administration in 2016.
Dr. Centor and his wife Jaye-Lacey are parents of Gabriel, 8, and Lucas, 3. Jaye is the Senior Associate for Executive Engagement at Carnegie Mellon.