FAYETTEVILLE — Bev Lewis, who has been with the Arkansas athletic department for 32 years, has announced she will retire on June 30.
Lewis spent 19 years of her tenure with the Razorbacks as the women’s athletic director, working in the role from 1988-2007. Arkansas combined the men’s and women’s athletic departments in 2007 and Lewis has held the role of associate vice chancellor and executive associated athletic director the past six years.
“My time as a Razorback is so special,” Lewis said in a news release. “I have worked with so many great people, watched our students excel both in the classroom and on the athletic field, and I have built lasting relationships with friends, fans and athletic professionals. I will always treasure the opportunity to help coaches and student-athletes achieve their dreams and I will always be a Razorback.”
Lewis’ Arkansas career began as the program’s first women’s cross country and track and field coach. Her 1988 cross-country team became the first to win a women’s Southwest Conference Championship. Lewis also was named the SWC Coach of the Year three times before moving into a full-time administrative role.
Lewis played a big part in the growth of women’s athletics at Arkansas. During her tenure as athletic director, Arkansas moved to increase athletic participation for women with the addition of volleyball, golf, gymnastics and softball.
Her leadership also was key to the construction of Bogle Park (softball) and Razorback Field (soccer). The Bev Lewis Center, which is home to administrative offices and workout facilities for female student-athletes, was named after her.
Lewis said in the press release she plans to spend more time with her husband, Harley, at their home on the White River and in Michigan, where she grew up.
“I came to the University of Arkansas as a young energetic first time head coach with lots of visions for my future in intercollegiate athletics,” Lewis said. “Who would have guessed that I would spend my entire career as a Razorback?
“What a wonderful career I have had to be a part of the remarkable growth of women’s sports in the 1990s, to work through the transition to the Southeastern Conference and to play a role in the overall development of our athletic department. Professionally it has been very rewarding to work in a capacity ranging from building fantastic facilities to the opportunity to work with great coaches, staff and student- athletes. My time as a Razorback is so special.”