Charles Wight leaves legacy of positive support for Weber State athletics

Saturday , January 20, 2018 - 5:15 AM

BRANDON GARSIDE, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — On the same day Weber State University President Charles Wight announced his resignation, he and his wife, Victoria, were at the Dee Events Center to watch the men’s basketball team in their contest against Sacramento State

It’s been a common sight to see Wight on the sidelines at any given sporting event at Weber State. Throughout his tenure, he has openly shown his support for the department.

> 'A remarkable leader:' Charles Wight steps down as Weber State president
> Looking back at President Charles Wight's time at Weber State University

“Athletics is a huge window on the university. It’s a very narrow window just with student-athletes, but it’s a very important one,” Wight said after the game.

“I’ve been engaged with athletics, but that’s because it’s a lot of fun, and winning is more fun than anything. With the football team doing so well this fall and basketball doing well year after year, it’s been a lot of fun for me.”

Wight’s role in athletics administration has been minimal in terms of the day-to-day work, as those duties fall to Vice President Norm Tarbox and Athletics Director Jerry Bovee — but he was always willing to provide the department with support when requested.

“I think he enjoyed his interactions with athletics, but he really cherished his involvement with student-athletes,” Bovee said. “He loved to come and speak to them. If we had a training or an event where it was good to have a president involved, he was always there to interact with the student-athletes. From that aspect, he was very committed.”

Bovee said Wight was also a donor for the department and played a monetary role in the transformation of the school’s mascot, Waldo the Wildcat, from the classic cumbersome large head to the athletic and energetic entertainer seen today.

The Wights even traveled to Florida with the cheer squad to support them in the National Championships.

“I think that’s one of the things I’ll remember about him,” Bovee said. “They had a soft spot for cheer along with all the other things they supported, but that was one of their initiatives they really loved. I know our cheerleaders and Waldo really appreciated that support.”

Bovee said he and the department aren’t nervous about what a new university president will bring, but he’s certainly interested to see how athletics will fit into the university’s mission under new leadership.

“Presidential involvement in athletics is critical to its success, so whoever the new president is going to be, we’re going to want to make sure that we’re interacting there,” Bovee said. “If a president is very involved with what’s going on, it drives the agenda in a different way.”

Contact sports reporter Brandon Garside at bgarside@standard.net, on Twitter @BrandonGarside and on Facebook.com/BrandonGarsideSE.

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