Tributes have been paid by British University and Colleges Sport (BUCS) to Barry Hitchcock following his death.
BUCS stated that "university sport regretfully lost an influential contributor to university sport" on February 1.
Hitchcock was hailed for having used his knowledge to develop and grow higher education sport.
This included chairing British Universities and Colleges Physical Education Association and University College Sport, a forerunner to BUCS.
Hitchcock was awarded a Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 2010 for his services to sport and higher education.
"The sector has lost a great advocate and many of us have lost a dear friend," Vince Mayne, BUCS chief executive, said.
"Barry enjoyed a weekly basketball session for whoever wanted to turn up and play, years before this became a core part of sports development and delivery.
"Higher education sport is where is it today because of the work of people like Barry Hitchcock."
Hitchcock has been credited with transforming higher education sport as the director of sport at the University of Surrey, a role he held for 20 years.
He was viewed as the visionary behind the Surrey Sports Park, which he backed during the 1990s, before it eventually became reality in 2010.
"We are incredibly sad to have lost Barry Hitchcock, who played such an enormous role in sport at the University of Surrey and beyond," Gavin Baker, director of sport at Surrey Sports Park, said.
"The Surrey Sports Park was his vision, and its contribution to sport in Surrey will be his lasting legacy.
"We have lost a member of the Surrey sporting family, and our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues who will miss him so deeply and remember him so fondly."
Following his retirement in 2010, Hitchcock served as a trustee within the Surrey Playing Fields Association and the England Squash Foundation.