Ex-SMU AD Copeland passes away

June, 5, 2010
6/05/10
5:00
PM CT
Former SMU athletic director Jim Copeland died Friday night from cancer. He was 65 and died at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Copeland, who played football and was later athletic director at Virginia, becamse the SMU AD after serving in that post at his alma mater for eight years. Copeland ran athletics on the Hilltop from Dec. 1994 through May 2006. It was the second-longest tenure for an AD in SMU history.

Copeland was a big part of getting SMU's Gerald J. Ford Stadium built. He also added three varsity sports -- volleyball, equestrian and rowing -- during his tenure. Copeland's fundraising efforts netted $81 million in donations to the athletic department while he was there.

"I greatly enjoyed working with Jim Copeland as a professional and as a friend," SMU president Gerald Turner said in a statement. "He played a key role in advancing our athletics program, leading transitions in conference membership, and planning and opening new facilities, including Ford Stadium and the Loyd All-Sports Center, that have been critical in bringing us where we are today. He will be greatly missed, and I know the University community joins me in sending thoughts and prayers to his family."

Copeland was a three-year starter for Virginia in the mid 1960s and was taken in the 10th round by the Cleveland Browns in the 1967 NFL draft. He played for Cleveland for eight seasons, appearing in two NFL championship games.
Richard Durrett joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He writes about colleges, the Dallas Stars and the Texas Rangers. Richard spent nine years at The Dallas Morning News covering the Rangers, Stars, colleges, motorsports and high schools.
Tags:

Smu

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

You must be signed in to post a comment

Already have an account?

103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: OSU scandal

Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Longhorns talk

Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Barkley on Manziel

Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Kirk Herbstreit

Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.

Fitzsimmons & Durrett: Andy Dalton

Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.

Galloway and Company: Manziel talk

Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Dez Bryant sounds off

Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.

Fitzsimmons and Durrett: Dan Beebe

Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.