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September 1, 1994

Edward E. Bozik

Edward E. Bozik

Edward E. Bozik, a Pitt administrator for 16 years prior to his retirement in 1991, died July 21 at Allegheny General Hospital. He was 64.

Bozik, of Fox Chapel, was recruited to Pitt in 1975 by then-President Wesley Posvar. The two had served together as Air Force pilots and as faculty members at the Air Force Academy.

Bozik's first job here was as Posvar's assistant. In 1976, he was named executive assistant. Two years after that, Bozik was promoted to assistant president, a job in which he oversaw the athletics department.

Bozik became Pitt athletics director on Sept. 1, 1982, retiring from the post on July 1, 1991. Those years saw a number of controversies in the athletics department as well as the decline of Pitt's football teams from perennial top 10 contenders to also-rans. But Bozik also was credited with upgrading the University's sports facilities, toughening academic standards for student-athletes and improving their graduation rates.

Bozik was criticized for extending football coach Foge Fazio's contract in 1984 only to fire him a year later. Bozik later hired former football coaches Mike Gottfried and Paul Hackett, both of whom would resign under pressure, and basketball coach Paul Evans, whose contract was not renewed this year.

Within months after Bozik became athletic director, the NCAA reprimanded Pitt for a recruiting violation involving an all-state high school basketball player. In 1992, one of Bozik's aides, Bob Heddleston, was sentenced to four years of probation after pleading guilty to misapplication of funds and commercial bribery. Heddleston had been executive director of the Golden Panthers booster organization.

On the other hand, Bozik was given much of the credit for Pitt's move into the Big East Conference in 1982. Also during his tenure, lights were installed at Pitt Stadium and the University renovated Fitzgerald Field House and built the Cost Sports Center. Bozik also was active in NCAA reform efforts, particularly on issues of academic integrity.

A 1946 graduate of Donora High School, Bozik earned his bachelor's degree from California University of Pennsylvania in 1953. After receiving his Ph.D. in political science from Georgetown University, Bozik served in the Air Force for 22 years, attaining the rank of colonel.

Bozik is survived by his wife, JoAn Stonick Bozik; one daughter, Margaret J. of Alberg, Vt.; two sons, Michael E. of McCandless and Timothy J. of Upper Mount Clair, N.J.; his mother, Anna, of Donora; one brother, Joseph R. of Nazareth, Northampton Co.; and three grandchildren.

The family suggests memorials be sent to The American Heart Association.

Filed under: Feature,Volume 27 Issue 1

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