Pillar of UNCA community to retire

By Michael O’Hearn – [email protected] – Staff Writer | March 25, 2015 |
After 28 years of service for the athletics department at UNC Asheville, Mike Gore has announced his retirement.
Gore, who acts as associate director of athletics for external affairs as well as an assistant for sports management for the department, will retire effective April 1.
According to Gore, a friend presented to him the position at UNCA a few years after he graduated from Appalachian State University in 1984.
“Way back in 1986, a friend of mine had this job opportunity as a sports administrator here and I
thought it would be a great opportunity since UNCA was going to be going to the Division I and all,” Gore said. “I was working at the Hendersonville Times-News at the time. It was just a chance I took and I’ve been here ever since.”
Janet Cone, who has worked alongside Gore as athletics director for 12 years, has known him since her coaching days at Mars Hill in the early 1980s.
Cone said Gore is a leader for the university and she has enjoyed seeing him at work every day during her tenure at UNCA.
“Working with a person who always has a smile on their face when you come in and always asks, one, ‘How are you?’ and, two, ‘What can I do to help you?’ makes him a champion and leader to this university, the students, coaches and community,” Cone said. “It’s been a joy to work with him. Mike’s a problem solver, a friend and he loves the university. You don’t see the kind of unselfish and loyal person Mike is very often these days, much less someone who has sustained a job for almost 30 years.”
Because he felt 30 years as a director is a long time for a career, Gore said that he believed that now would be the right time to retire, at age 52.
“That had always been the thought in the back of my mind, to retire after 30 years,” Gore said. “This job has been seven days a week doing things like updating the website and taking care of games and it has been intense, even during the summer time. Beyond that, I really want to spend time with my wife Lisa, who is a prosecutor, and just slow down for a little bit.”
Jeremy Gower, junior, commented on what he hopes Gore will take away from being at UNCA, saying that he has been an inspiration to him and his fiance, Adrian Etheridge, senior.
“I wish Gore the best and I hope that he and his wife get to travel as much as they can stand,” Gower said. “Thank you for being a mentor and a friend to both Adrian and I in our young lives. As we transition into our new lives as a married couple, I can only hope we are as pleasant, friendly and caring as you and your wife Lisa have been to us. You may not realize it, but you have a major impact on our lives.”
Gore has also been helpful in providing jobs for students within the department. Etheridge has been photographing the university’s sporting events for three years, thanks to a short meeting with Gore.
“Mike has had a huge impact on my life, particularly my professional career,” Etheridge said. “I walked into his office the beginning of my sophomore year and asked if there were any job openings. I even added that I’m a photographer as an afterthought, thinking it would just lead to some grunt work, and was immediately hired. The opportunity has led to three internships, my own photography business and the chance to publish my photos in major publications.”
According to Gower, Gore has been more of a friend than a boss to him during his employment as a scoreboard operator at UNCA’s sporting events.
“Every day that I have worked with Mike has been as pleasant as anyone could expect, even dream of,” Gower said. “Within the first few minutes of meeting him, Gore had made me feel like a friend rather than just the boss/employee relationship I was hoping to achieve.”
According to Gore, working with the students at UNCA for nearly 30 years has made him feel young again. Being at the institution for so long has taught him many things, Gore said.
“I’ve learned so much about life and have been here for parts of four different decades, and I have to say that UNCA is such a great academic institution that produces a lot of great students,” Gore said. “I’ve grown as a person from a young man and I’ve learned a lot from our coaches, administration and student athletes. I’m going to miss them especially.”
Nick McDevitt, head coach for the men’s basketball team, said Gore has made a monumental impact on the athletic department and the university community will certainly miss him.
“Mike Gore has been here for nearly three decades and has been a great friend to me, this university and the athletics department in general,” McDevitt said. “He has had such tremendous impact on this university on so many levels and has worn many hats while he’s been here. It will take an army to replace him.”