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Athletic Director News

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September 11, 2017

NORTHERN ESSEX COMMUNITY COLLEGE
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NORTHERN ESSEX COMMUNITY COLLEGE

Newburyport native Daniel M. Blair, who was associate director of athletics at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge, N.H., has been named director of athletics at Northern Essex Community College, replacing Director of Athletics Sue MacAvoy. A graduate of Bridgewater State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology and Franklin Pierce University with a Master’s of Science in Sport Facility Management, he participated in cross country and track and field while a student at Bridgewater State, and he has also coached men’s and women’s track and field at Bridgewater. – Eagle Tribune. Read More.

September 7, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO
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UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SAN ANTONIO

University of Texas at San Antonio Associate Vice President/Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey today announced she is stepping down from her position for personal reasons, effective immediately. Hickey joined UTSA in 1999, leading the Roadrunners to three conference commissioner’s cups, two league all-sports trophies and team and individual academic and athletics awards in all 17 sports programs at the university. – UTSA Today. Read More.

September 6, 2017

LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY
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LAKE SUPERIOR STATE UNIVERSITY

Dr. David Paitson (pronounced Pate-sun), a dynamic and creative leader with over 25 years of comprehensive management and executive marketing success with intercollegiate, minor and major league sports franchises, including the Columbus Blue Jackets, Indiana Pacers and Sam Houston State University has been named Director of Athletics at Lake Superior State University (LSSU). Read More.

September 5, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA
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UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA

Craig Littlepage, who has helped build Virginia into one of the top 20 athletic programs in the nation over the past 16 years, is resigning as the school’s director of athletics. UVa announced Littlepage’s resignation at 11 a.m. A formal press conference is schedule for Wednesday. Littlepage will remain in his role until his replacement is in place. – Daily Progress. Read More.

SAINT PETER’S UNIVERSITY
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SAINT PETER’S UNIVERSITY

Saint Peter’s University today announced the hiring of Bryan Felt as the ninth Director of Athletics for the Division I athletics program. Felt brings notable credentials in fund raising to the athletics department. He comes to Jersey City after most recently serving as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at Seton Hall University. Felt will be formally introduced at a press conference at Dinneen Hall in McIntyre Conference Center on Thursday, September 7 at 10:00am. Felt will be available for the media immediately following the press conference. All members of the Saint Peter’s University community and media are invited to attend. The press conference also will be streamed live on the Saint Peter’s Athletics YouTube channel. His first official day in office will be September 21. Read More.

August 31, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO
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UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

The University of New Mexico has hired Eddie Nuñez as its new vice president of athletics, multiple sources have confirmed to the Journal. Nuñez, 42, who was in Albuquerque today and met with Interim President Chaouki Abdallah, among others, before traveling back to Baton Rouge, La., where he has worked for the past 14 years at Louisiana State University, most recently as the Tigers deputy director of athletics. -Geoff Grammer, Albuquerque Journal , Read More

YALE UNIVERSITY
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YALE UNIVERSITY

After 23 years of dedicated service to Yale Athletics, Athletic Director Tom Beckett announces that he will retire at the end of the year. Under Beckett’s tenure, Yale has led the nation in teams honored by the NCAA for Public Recognition Awards (Academic Progress Rate – APR) more than half the years of its existence. He has helped recruit outstanding student-athletes to a world-class university while building a highly successful sports program. The Yale AD has also been successful in fundraising to transform the school’s athletic facilities into one of the nation’s best. He has supervised the renovation, restoration or construction on 20 major projects. Eleven new facility projects have been completed with nine other venues getting major renovations since 1994.

YALE UNIVERSITY
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YALE UNIVERSITY

Yale University AD Tom Beckett will announce plans to retire later today reports Eric Dobratz of News 8 in New Haven, CT. Beckett, who has been at Yale since 1994 is expected stay on through the remainder of the year according to Dobratz.

UTEP
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UTEP

Bob Stull, the man many credit with bringing the UTEP athletic program into modern times, has decided it’s time. The University of Texas at El Paso athletic director since 1998, Stull will retire Thursday to spend more time with his children and grandchildren. Stull’s contact expires on Thursday, but he will stay on until this successor is hired, he said. He currently makes $264,000 a year. -Bill Knight, El Paso Times, Read More

August 28, 2017

FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY
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FAIRFIELD UNIVERSITY

Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD announced today the hiring of Paul Schlickmann as the institution’s seventh Director of Athletics. Schlickmann is the son of a Fairfield ’62 graduate and was a 4-year letter winner on the basketball team at Trinity College (CT). He spent the previous seven years as the Director of Athletics at Central Connecticut State University and also held senior level positions at Stony Brook University and Yale University. Read More.

August 23, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF DENVER
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UNIVERSITY OF DENVER

University of Denver Vice Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation Peg Bradley-Doppes announced a shift in roles in her division, appointing long-time DU administrator Ron Grahame to his new role as the day-to-day athletic director, effective immediately. Bradley-Doppes announced her plans to retire June 30, 2018. She will continue her role as Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations until then, but will shift her focus to high-end fundraising, coaching endowments, raising money for the Denver Tennis Park and other Capital Projects. University of Denver Chancellor Rebecca Chopp was also in attendance on Wednesday and spoke to the Division. Chopp also announced that DU will begin a search for a new Vice Chancellor later this fall to replace Bradley-Doppes following her retirement. Grahame, who was promoted in December to Deputy Director of Athletics, has contributed over three decades worth of service to DU, performing a plethora of athletics duties at a high level. –Read More

UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA
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UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL OKLAHOMA

Joe Muller, athletic director at UCO, is leaving his position, The Oklahoman has learned. Muller was in his eighth year as athletic director and has been credited with helping the Bronchos return to national prominence in Division II. During Muller’s tenure, UCO teams have won 11 conference championships and had 12 top-10 national finishes. The school’s softball team won its first national championship in 2013. – News OK. Read More.

UNLV
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UNLV

Desiree Reed-Francois, 45, was appointed athletic director at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Reed-Francois is modest about all she had done to make herself an excellent candidate for her new role. The sense of athletes as family has propelled Reed-Francois at every level of her career. Family was a big part of the reason why she went into the athletics administration field in the first place. Reed-Francois’ darkest day in athletics administration was a loss, not of a game, but a person. Darren Hankins, only 21, was a promising wrestler at Virginia Tech when he drowned in a 2014 swimming accident at an abandoned quarry. – Andrea Canales, ESPN. Read More.

August 22, 2017

MONTANA TECH
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MONTANA TECH

Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter announced today that External Associate Athletic Director Matt Stepan has been promoted to Director of Athletics. The planned transition will see Stepan move into the AD role currently held by Montana Tech head football coach and director of athletics Chuck Morrell. Morrell has served as AD since 2014 and head football coach since 2011. He will remain as the head football coach. “The stability is there and the timing is right for Matt to move right into this role,” noted Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter. “We are fortunate Matt is part of the Montana Tech team. I have confidence that he will continue to drive Montana Tech Athletics forward. We are grateful for Coach Morrell’s dedication to Montana Tech and thank him for serving in this role for the past three years.” Matt joined the Montana Tech Athletic Department in 2014. Stepan, originally from Butte, graduated from Butte Central High School in 1999 and then went on to receive a degree in Business & Information Technology at Montana Tech while playing football under Bob Green. – Montana SportsRead More

UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC
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UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC

A letter to the Pacific Community from Ted Leland, Director of Athletics

Dear Friends: “Make the Dreams of Others Come True.”That’s how I’ve often described my job and what a privilege it has been. As I announce my retirement, effective October, 23, 2017, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. I’m grateful to my wife and family who allowed me to focus my professional life on college sports—the “toy store” of life.  I’m grateful for the great universities, especially Pacific and Stanford, that have nurtured my dual passions for high level sport and rigorous intellectual achievement. American universities are the envy of the world and also unique in fostering a connection between high achievement in academics and sport. “Mens sana in corpore sano”—a sound mind in a sound body—is a principle I have always followed.  Read More

EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY
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EAST TENNESSEE STATE UNIVERSITY

Former East Tennessee State University fullback and current Senior Associate AD Chief Operating Officer Scott Carter will become the school’s Athletic Director next month, succeeding Dr. Richard Sander. Carter played at ETSU from 1998  to 2002 while earning his master’s degree. He then worked in the athletic offices at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville before returning to Johnson City and the school in 2015. Carter assisted in the rebirth of ETSU’s football program along with former Tennessee head football coach Phillip Fulmer, who was in attendance for Tuesday’s announcement. –wcyb.comRead More

UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE CHATTANOOGA
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UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE CHATTANOOGA

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Chancellor Dr. Steven Angle announced Mark Wharton as the Mocs’ new Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics today. A press conference introducing Wharton is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 23, at 2:00 p.m. (E.D.T.) in the Chattanooga Room in the University Center. A 22-year veteran of college athletics, Wharton spent the last four years as the Associate Athletics Director for Development at Penn State University.  There he was a member of the Nittany Lions Senior Management Team, overseeing all aspects of Athletics Development. –Read More

August 17, 2017

KENTUCKY CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY
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KENTUCKY CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY

Kentucky Christian University has named Corey Fipps as its new Athletic Director. Fipps took on the role of head football coach at KCU earlier this year after two seasons as the Offensive Coordinator at NCAA Division II Missouri Southern State University. As part of this restructure, Bruce Dixon, for KCU Athletic Director, will now be serving as Associate Athletic Director and Sports Information Director. Dixon will also continue in his role as Head Women’s Volleyball Coach. Read More.

August 16, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF THE INCARNATE WORD
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UNIVERSITY OF THE INCARNATE WORD

Incarnate Word has hired Brian Wickstrom, a veteran college administrator known for his fundraising skills, to head its burgeoning athletic department. Wickstrom, who has spent the past four years as Louisiana-Monroe athletic director, will be introduced as UIW’s new AD at a 10:30 a.m. news conference today at Benson Field House. Wickstrom has secured more than $91 million in commitments during his 20 years in collegiate athletics, UIW said. The Kansas State graduate called his new job an “unbelievable opportunity.” – Tom Orsborn, My SA. Read More.

August 15, 2017

SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY
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SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY

Southern University at New Orleans’ search for a new athletic director concluded with the hiring of former St. Augustine coaching legend Bernard Griffith following a nationwide search. During his tenure at St. Augustine, Griffith, 68, led the basketball team to three Class 5A state championships in 1992, 1995 and 1999. Formerly, Griffith spent three seasons as head coach at Sarah Towles Reed following a two-year stint as assistant coach of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks. Griffith has also served as athletic director at L.B. Landry High School, and as head men’s basketball coach at Dillard University. Read More.

August 10, 2017

WESTERN NEW ENGLAND UNIVERSITY
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WESTERN NEW ENGLAND UNIVERSITY

As Western New England University’s (WNEU) Director of Athletics Mike Theulen retired after nearly two decades, Joe Sassi of East Longmeadow has taken over the role for the next year prior to a national search for the University’s next director of Athletics. “It has been an honor to witness all of the amazing accomplishments of our coaches and student-athletes over the years. Our Golden Bear administrative staff, athletics, athletic training, sports information and recreation have allowed our university to really shine and serve as a measuring stick for other schools to emulate,” Theulen said in a statement. – Payton North, The Reminder. Read More.

August 3, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN–MILWAUKEE
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN–MILWAUKEE

UW-Milwaukee quietly extended athletic director Amanda Braun’s contract two years with a modest 2 percent pay increase and increased her potential bonuses. Braun was named to the post in early March 2013 and officially took the reins of the department on May 1, 2013. In her tenure on campus, she has helped Milwaukee to new heights and played the lead role in bringing Panther men’s basketball contests back downtown. She also was instrumental in helping the University secure naming rights for UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, the downtown home of Milwaukee men’s basketball. – Scott Paulus, Bizjournals. Read More.

July 31, 2017

MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY
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MISSOURI WESTERN STATE UNIVERSITY

Missouri Western State University has named Josh Looney as the University’s next director of athletics. Looney, currently director of athletics at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania, will start at Missouri Western on August 7. Prior to ESU, Looney was associate director of NCAA Division II from 2012 to 2015. He worked for the Kansas City Chiefs from 2006 to 2012 and the Orlando Magic in 2005 and 2006. His work with the Chiefs included spending time on Missouri Western’s campus for the team’s summer training camp, which has been held on campus since 2010. Read More.

July 25, 2017

SCHREINER UNIVERSITY
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SCHREINER UNIVERSITY

Bill Raleigh has been named Schreiner University’s Director of Athletics after serving as the Assistant Athletic Director and Chair of the Exercise and Sports Studies program at Southwestern University. Prior to his role in administration, Raleigh coached the men’s basketball program at Southwestern for 15 years. Before joining Southwestern, Raleigh was the head men’s basketball coach/head golf coach at the University of Dallas and an assistant basketball coach at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA and Washington & Lee University in Lexington, VA. – SCACRead More.

SUNY COBLESKILL
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SUNY COBLESKILL

SUNY Cobleskill announced that Marie Curran-Headley will join the College as its new Athletic Director beginning August 14. Curran-Headley brings valuable experience in strategic leadership and diversity initiatives, large-scale tournament organization, fiscal management, and athletics administration. Curran-Headley is pursuing a Ph.D. in educational leadership from the University at Buffalo. She holds a bachelor’s in exercise science from Trenton State, a master’s in sports administration from Canisius and a master’s of library science from UB. Read More.

July 20, 2017

MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE
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MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE

The school announced Thursday it has hired Steven Campbell Jr. as athletic director to replace Robin Jeffries, who recently left Perkinston to coach Poplarville’s girls basketball team. A former football standout himself, Campbell played represented Stone High in the annual Bernard Blackwell All-Star Game before playing tight end, center and long snapper for his father. He later transferred to Ole Miss, where he studied economics. Since joining the professional ranks, Campbell has coached for his father at Central Arkansas and later at Virginia Tech in 2016, where he was the special teams quality control assistant. – Sun Herald. Read More.

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE
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UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-PARKSIDE

University of Wisconsin-Parkside Chancellor Debbie Ford has named Andrew Gavin as the university’s seventh director of athletics. Andrew begins his new role in August. Ford said, “I, along with our coaches and members of the UW-Parkside community, were very impressed with Andrew’s passion for intercollegiate athletics, his character and his history of supporting student success. We are proud to welcome him back to Wisconsin and have him as the leader of Ranger Athletics.” said Ford. Gavin was selected from an impressive pool of applicants and the University appreciates the support of Athletics Staffing and Consultants who assisted with the search. Read More.

July 18, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO
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UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS CHICAGO

Chancellor Michael Amiridis has named Garrett Klassy the University of Illinois at Chicago’s director of athletics designate, pending final approval by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Klassy has more than 21 years of intercollegiate athletics experience, including recent leadership positions at George Washington University, the University of Oregon, the University of Alabama and Tulane University. Klassy begins at UIC on Aug. 15. He will succeed Jim Schmidt, who has served as director of athletics for more than 22 years and will retire Aug. 1. Klassy currently serves as senior associate athletics director for external relations at George Washington University, an NCAA Division 1 program with 27 teams and 95 team championships in 15 different sports. –Read More

July 14, 2017

WEST GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE
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WEST GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE

West Georgia Technical College has hired Todd Davis to become the school’s new athletic director. Davis officially began his role on July 1, replacing Todd Pratt, who left last year to manage the Single A Greenboro Grasshoppers in the Florida Marlins organization. Originally from Oklahoma, Davis has more than 25 years as an athletic administrator. He has been an athletic director for 20 of those 25 years and has a knack for building highly competitive sports programs. Read More.

July 13, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
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UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

In his first few months on the job, new Arizona athletic director Dave Heeke called the transition to Tucson a “fast and furious” process. The former Central Michigan athletic director comes to Arizona with high praise and already feels right at home in the Old Pueblo. As a result, Heeke said he has been able to further develop his vision for Arizona and plans to bring a winning culture to the university. “I think that our program should strive for excellence every day in everything that we do,” he said. “It’s all about creating a culture of excellence.” – Alec White, Read More.