The Joe Singleton Atrium at the Edwards Family Athletics Center was established in Fall 2022, by generous donors Darryl and Lois Goss, in an effort to recognize a great Aggie and pioneer in college athletics. The primary entry to the Edwards Center seemed fitting of this recognition, as Joe opened so many doors for our student-athletes during his time at UC Davis.
Joe Singleton, who is best known at UC Davis as our director of athletics from 1971 to 1987, was a two-sport standout of New Mexico Highlands and a successful high school coach at Robertson High School in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Singleton joined the UC Davis physical education department in 1969 as a lecturer, assistant football coach and assistant track coach. Two years later, he was named as Bill Lakie's successor as the Aggies' director of athletics, at a time when few African-Americans held such a title outside of the historically black colleges and universities.
Athletics Director Joe Singleton also served as a key advocate for women's athletics at a time when it was not popular to do so, as the passage of Title IX took place early in his time at the helm. He guided the transition of Aggie women's sports from the Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Division III status to NCAA Division II status in the early 1980s.
Singleton pioneered a merger of separate men's and women's leagues into what became the Northern California Athletic Conference, while proposing national legislation that resulted in the beginning of NCAA sponsorship of women's championships.
Joe passed away peacefully in 2018 at the age of 82 and has inspired others to further his legacy. Although he is no longer with us, his spirit and values carry on with so many UC Davis student-athletes today.
Those wishing to support the Joe Singleton Atrium naming effort can do so by making a donation and/or pledge to this fund. Thank you to those (listed below) who have already supported this effort!
Darryl and Lois Goss, Ron and Debbie Austin, Kevin Bacon, Rob and Eileen Tobias, Hala and Bruce Cozaad.
Athletics Development Office