Josh Centor, Ph.D.
Josh Centor, Ph.D.
  • Title:
    Associate Vice President of Student Affairs / Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation
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Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Director of Athletics Josh Centor enters his ninth year at the helm of the Carnegie Mellon Athletics Department. He oversees intercollegiate athletics, club sports, intramurals, physical education and campus recreation. Dr. Centor was appointed Director of Athletics in April 2014, following nine months as Interim Director. He served as Associate Director of Athletics, from 2012-13, and Assistant Director of Athletics from 2008-12.

In July 2017, Dr. Centor was named Associate Vice President for Community Engagement, following a year as Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs Operations. In addition to responsibilities as Director of Athletics, he provides leadership for Dining Services, the Jared L. Cohon University Center and SLICE (Student Leadership, Involvement and Civic Engagement). In his capacity as Associate Dean, Dr. Centor had oversight for Dining, the Cohon Center, Housing Services and Conference and Event Services.

Under Centor’s leadership, Carnegie Mellon Athletics has developed into one of the nation’s most competitive programs. When NCAA Championships resumed last spring, the Tartans picked up right where they left off, as the women’s golf team placed second at nationals and the men’s golf team earned a fourth-place finish. Both tennis teams advanced to the third round of their respective NCAA Championships and the men’s track and field team placed 16th at NCAAs.

The Tartans advanced a number of strategic initiatives during the 2019-20 academic year, and inducted the inaugural Carnegie Mellon Athletics Hall of Fame class during Homecoming weekend. Additionally, the university received a $35M grant from Highmark Inc. to support the construction of a new student health, wellness and athletics center. Construction for the 160,000-square-foot building will begin in Fall 2021 and the building is expected to open in Fall 2024.

The 2019-20 athletic year was arguably one of the most successful in university history, despite being shortened by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the fall, women’s soccer advanced to the first-ever Final Four in school history. During the spring season, women’s golf was ranked No. 1 in the nation, while men’s golf was ranked fourth and women’s tennis was ranked fifth. With 24 swimmers qualifying for nationals, the Tartans saw their best-ever seasons in many sports, and had numerous teams ranked among the nation’s top 10 throughout the year.

Carnegie Mellon has also made important strides in athletics facility development during Dr. Centor’s tenure. In July 2018, Carnegie Mellon opened a fitness center within the new Tepper School of Business building. In May 2016, the university opened a new fitness center as part of the 65,000-square foot expansion to the Jared L. Cohon University Center. Shortly thereafter, free Group Exercise classes in the new facility were made available to all students – undergraduate and graduates. Additionally, locker rooms for football, men’s and women’s soccer and men’s and women’s track and field were renovated and modernized.

Four years ago, the department launched the Carnegie Mellon Student-Athlete Alumni Mentoring Program. This one-on-one concept provides student-athletes with an opportunity to connect with hundreds of former Tartans through a formal program designed to introduce them to a myriad of career possibilities. The mentoring program is part of the Tartan Leaders of Tomorrow Program, which provides students with an opportunity to participate in a formal, four-year curriculum.

Prior to arriving at Carnegie Mellon, Dr. Centor worked at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis from 2005-08. At the NCAA, he started the Association’s New Media department and worked closely with NCAA President Myles Brand on multiple initiatives. He helped launch Champion Magazine, and served as an advisor to the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Dr. Centor received his Ph.D. in higher education management from the University of Pittsburgh. His dissertation research focused on strategic planning and resource allocation at elite private universities in the United States. He also holds a master’s degree in applied communication from Indiana University, Purdue University-Indianapolis. A 2004 graduate from Brandeis University, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in international business, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and played four years of varsity baseball.

Dr. Centor has an adjunct faculty appointment at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College and has taught a graduate course on higher education administration.

Dr. Centor and his wife Jaye-Lacey are parents of Gabriel, Lucas and Layla. Jaye is the Director of University Events at Carnegie Mellon.