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Former ESPN Head Joins Iona’s Sports, Entertainment & Media Faculty

Former ESPN executive George Bodenheimer will join the staff of Iona College.
Former ESPN executive George Bodenheimer will join the staff of Iona College. Photo Credit: ESPN Media Zone

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Iona College business students in New Rochelle will soon have the opportunity to learn from one of the country's best in sports media with the addition of George Bodenheimer, former president and executive chairman of ESPN Inc., to its School of Business.

“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, 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.”

Bodenheimer will join the faculty next fall and co-teach a leadership and management course with Horine. His book "Every Town Is A Sports Town," chronicles the rise of ESPN under his leadership and 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 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 Co. and was co-chairman of Disney Media Networks from 2004-11. He became executive chairman of ESPN Inc., in 2012 and provided strategic direction for ESPN’s global business until he chose to leave the company in May 2014.

He 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.

Bodenheimer will also serve as chairman of the V Foundation for Cancer Research capital campaign, "Not A Moment to Lose," which is aimed at propelling the legacy of Jim Valvano, who served as Iona’s head men's basketball coach from 1975-80 and director of athletics from 1977-80.

“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.”

Shortly before Valvano’s death in 1993, he and ESPN formed the V Foundation for Cancer Research, an organization dedicated to lifesaving 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.

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