LYNCHBURG, Va. — Ian McCaw, former athletic director at scandal-plagued Baylor, is the new athletic director at Liberty University.
The school made the announcement on its web site Monday. McCaw replaces Jeff Barber, who resigned abruptly on Nov. 18.
McCaw spent 13 years at Baylor, and the school won four national championships and 56 Big 12 championships on his watch.
He resigned in May after being sanctioned and placed on probation by the university when its athletic program became embroiled in a sexual assault scandal that led to the dismissal of football coach Art Briles and the demotion and eventual departure of university President Ken Starr from the administration.
Baylor, which hired a law firm to conduct an investigation, said McCaw and Briles, among others, failed to report an alleged gang-rape in 2012 by five members of the football team against a female student-athlete to the university’s judicial affairs office.
Just last week, two other women who reported being gang-raped by football players in 2012 reached settlements with the school, and Baylor’s regents said 17 women have reported domestic violence or sexual assault involving 19 football players since 2011. The school also is facing several federal lawsuits by women who say the university ignored or tried to suppress their allegations of sexual and physical assault.
Baylor, like Liberty, is a Baptist university.
Liberty made no mention in its announcement of McCaw’s reason for leaving Baylor, but noted that he guided the athletic program to unprecedented success.
“Ian’s success really speaks for itself,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell said in the announcement. “You look at what Baylor was able to do during his tenure, it fits perfectly with where we see our sports programs going. This is an exciting time for us.”
McCaw, who said elevating Liberty to Football Bowl Subdivision status “is very much at the forefront,” is eager to get started.
“My vision for Liberty is to position it as a pre-eminent Christian athletic program in America and garner the same type of appeal among the Christian community as Notre Dame achieves among the Catholic community and BYU garners from the Mormons,” McCaw said.
“Liberty to me represents a pinnacle of professional and personal opportunity where we’re going to be able to develop champions for Christ, develop a world-class student athlete experience, and achieve victory with integrity. We certainly want Christian student athletes to grow up dreaming of competing for Liberty University.”