November 10, 2023 - 1:45pm
Many of you have become aware of Coach Justin Bishop’s departure as coach of the Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country teams. As an institution, we always aim to maintain transparency within our community. Because much speculation has happened publicly on social media, I am compelled to respond to the misinformation being spread.
Justin Bishop was undoubtedly valued for the teams he coached throughout his time at Columbia College, and we will forever be thankful for the success of our Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country programs. Winning is undoubtedly an important value for our athletics program. However, it is not a super-ordinate value. While I cannot speak to the specific reasons for his departure, I can say unequivocally that the decision was made thoughtfully over a period of time. Our students, the ongoing success of our track and field and cross country programs, and the success of our athletics department are top of mind; the wellbeing of every student-athlete in every sport is a super-ordinate value. As such, we hear, understand, and appreciate the concerns of our student-athletes, their parents, and former student-athletes, but I assure you that this decision was not made lightly and is well-supported.
There is, however, one resounding speculation circulating that I wish to address directly. Director of Athletics Glen Crawford has maintained the best interests of the Athletic Department, all our student-athletes, and Columbia College as a whole, throughout this process. He has my full support regarding this decision, and I look toward the continued success of Columbia College Athletics under his leadership.
We wish Mr. Bishop every success in his future endeavors and appreciate his service to our students and Columbia College. We will commence a search for a new Women’s Track and Field and Cross Country coach immediately.
John H. Dozier
President of Columbia College