George Mason's athletic teams don green and gold uniforms. The university's hire of a former Washington Redskins safety as their new athletic director now adds some burgundy to the equation.
Brad Edwards, a starter on the Redskins 1992 Super Bowl champions, will become the fifth athletic director in school history, George Mason president Angel Cabrera announced on Monday.
Edwards, 48, served as athletic director at Jacksonville University since 2012. He replaces Tom O’Connor, who announced his retirement in March after 20 years with the Patriots. Edwards will be introduced during a news conference on June 9 and will officially start work July 1, 2014.
“Mason has a history of success in Division I athletics, and this appointment shows we are committed to building on that tradition,” Cabrera said. “Brad Edwards is the kind of leader that exemplifies our innovative spirit, and we are proud to welcome him to Mason Nation.”
GMU will enter its second season as a member of the Atlantic 10 conference. Though they struggled in men's basketball, the school's most prominent sports, the Patriots won four team A-10 championships—women’s indoor and outdoor track, men’s soccer and baseball—in their inaugural season. This topped all conference teams with the most championships.
“I am incredibly thankful to Dr. Cabrera and the Mason community for this opportunity, an opportunity I’ve spent years working toward,” Edwards says. “I also want to thank Tom O’Connor for the outstanding job he has done in building the Patriot brand, and it is my mission to aggressively build on that foundation while also blazing a new path forward with great energy, enthusiasm and a highly competitive spirit.”
Edwards played collegiately at South Carolina, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business management, and then nine seasons in the NFL, including four with the Redskins from 1990-1993. The hard-hitting safety started 16 games in each of his final three years with Washington.
After finishing his pro career with the Atlanta Falcons, Edwards joined South Carolina's athletic department. Starting in 2009 he served as director of athletics at Newberry College before moving to Jacksonville.
Somewhere along the way Edwards also graduated from the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Marketing Management Program, the Executive Management and Leadership Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and earned an MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is currently pursuing a master of arts in education from Michigan State University.
Edwards is married to the former Marlana Brown. He has three sons—Jackson, Thomas and Colton.
The Washington Wizards have conducted training camp at Patriot Center on the GMU campus in recent years.