Expect High Energy Levels from UC Riverside’s New Director of Intercollegiate Athletics

And don’t get in between Tamica Smith Jones and her lunch

Tamica Smith Jones and Chancellor Kim Wilcox Carrie Rosema

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) — Tamica Smith Jones, UC Riverside’s brand new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, said Tuesday that she is hungry to get started on building UC Riverside’s athletic program.

“There are a hundred plus people here. I need you to get another hundred plus more,” she said at an afternoon welcome event at the UCR Student Recreation Center.  “ I need you to meet me wherever there are Highlanders, because that is where I will be.”

A ceremony led by Chris Jensen, chair of the UCR Athletics Association, drew dozens of people from the community and the campus, including coaches, athletes, donors and even the Mayor of Riverside, Rusty Bailey.

UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said he enjoyed the process of deciding how to move the Division I Athletics program forward, and deciding which person would be the right one to lead progress.

“You can see who won the contest,” he said, nodding to Smith Jones. “She brings energy.  She is going to be a go-getter. It is always easier to lead if you are moving, than if you are standing still.”

He complimented Janet Lucas for her interim leadership, and the entire athletics group for the way they pulled together on a recent track championship on campus.

“This is a place where we all get together to make things go well,” Wilcox said. “That is the community that we get to welcome Tamica into.”

Smith Jones said she has already found that UCR people are genuine and honest. She said she promises to offer the same kind of honesty. “We are going to elevate this athletic program,” she said. “It is going to be part of the fabric of the academic community. The community will be engaged. You will see me all over the place,” she said.

She said there is a cost to her high energy level. “I do have a lot of energy, but because of that I have to have lunch,” she said. “If you want to talk with me during that window, bring food, or invite me to lunch. That’s the only prerequisite.”

Tamica Smith Jones poses with Scotty Highlander, with  dance team member Estefania Lopez (left) and cheerleader Kaitlan Trujillo (right). Carrie Rosema

Tamica Smith Jones poses with Scotty Highlander, with dance team member Estefania Lopez (left) and cheerleader Kaitlan Trujillo (right).
Carrie Rosema

 

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