John Gerdy

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John R. Gerdy is a former basketball player, former Southeastern Conference associate commissioner, author and musician.

Gerdy grew up in Little Falls, New Jersey and was an All-State basketball player at Passaic Valley High School. He went on to play at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina and graduated in 1979 as a college All-American and as the Wildcats' all-time leading scorer. He was drafted by the New Jersey Nets and spent one season playing professionally in the Continental Basketball Association.

After leaving the Nets, Gerdy worked as a youth sports program director at a YMCA in Charlotte, North Carolina. He then completed a master's in sports administration (1983) and a Ph.D. in higher education (1986) at the Ohio State University. He spent three years as a legislative assistant to the NCAA in Kansas City, Missouri before moving to Birmingham as the SEC's Associate Commissioner for Compliance and Academic Affairs in 1989. While in Kansas City and Birmingham, Gerdy, an amateur blues musician, spent his evenings sitting in at nightclubs as "Willie Marble".

Gerdy left the SEC for New York after the birth of his first child in 1995, and later began writing. He worked as a visiting professor of sports administration at Ohio University. He later worked as an "artist in residence" for music programs at the New School in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He founded the "Music For Everyone" non-profit organization to support music education programs in that area.


  • Gerdy, John R. (1997) The Successful College Athletic Program: The New Standard. American Council on Education’s Series on Higher Education. Phoenix, Arizona: The Oryx Press
  • Gerdy, John R., editor (2000) Sports in School: The Future of an Institution. New York, New York: Teacher’s College Press
  • Gerdy, John R. (2002) Sports: The All-American Addiction. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi
  • Gerdy, John R. (2006) Air Ball: American Education’s Failed Experiment with Elite Athletics. Jackson, Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi
  • Gerdy, John R. (2014) Ball or Bands: Football vs. Music as an Educational and Community Investment. Archway Publishing