Western Washington University--Director of Athletics

Western Washington University in Washington

Deadline January 29, 2014
Date Posted January 6, 2014
Type Administrative
Salary Commensurate with experience
Employment Type Full-time


Position Announcement

Western Washington University

Director of Athletics


Western Washington University (Western) invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of Athletics (Director), a senior administrative position at the University. The University seeks a leader of its intercollegiate athletics program who ensures its integrity and success in Division II of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). The Director will work cooperatively with students, faculty, and staff across the University to maintain excellence in the intercollegiate athletics program, recruit and retain exceptional coaches and staff, and promote the academic achievements of all student-athletes. The Department of Athletics strives to further Western’s identity as an institution that welcomes and embraces diversity, and encourages applications from diverse candidates.


Major responsibilities include leadership and oversight of a successful Division II intercollegiate athletics program, which includes strategic planning, integrating athletics into the University community, fundraising, public relations, adherence to NCAA and the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) rules and regulations, personnel supervision, and budgeting and fiscal management. The Director reports to the Senior Vice President and Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, Dr. Eileen Coughlin.


The Athletics Program includes fifteen (15) sports for 300 male and female student-athletes. In 2012-2013, WWU placed 12th among 312 NCAA Division II institutions in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup national all-sports standings, the fifth straight Top 15 finish for the Vikings.


Western is one of six state-funded, four-year institutions of higher education in Washington. The University operates on a September-to-June academic year (quarter system) with six- and nine-week summer sessions. Dr. Bruce Shepard has served as Western’s 13th president since September 2008. The University is located in Bellingham, Washington, 90 miles north of Seattle and 50 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia. With 15,000 students, 160 academic programs, and an energized campus community, Western focuses on students, and maintains student access to faculty typical of a small college. Western also emphasizes academic choices, resources, multicultural diversity, and other benefits often found at a larger university. Western’s athletics mascot is the Viking.



  1. Provides leadership for the organization and administration of the intercollegiate athletics program.


  1. Maintains Western’s traditional commitments to academic and athletic excellence at the Division II level, by promoting student-athletes’ personal development, high academic achievement, and full participation in all aspects of University life.


  1. Provides management oversight of all programs that directly support athletic programming, including budgeting, fundraising, marketing, ticketing, sports facilities, athletic training, equipment management, and the fitness center.


  1. Establishes appropriate policies and procedures for the Department of Athletics that embrace the values of the University, NCAA Division II, and the GNAC.


  1. Provides leadership to ensure departmental funding through student fees, donations, and self-generated funds, in combination with state funding support. Ensures expenditures are managed within constraints and priorities identified for the Department, Division and University.


  1. Oversees all personnel responsibilities of the Department of Athletics, including recommendations for hiring/dismissal and salary decisions regarding professional and classified staff, in consultation with the Vice President.


  1. Supervises and conducts annual evaluations of direct reports and ensures all personnel within the Department of Athletics receive ongoing annual evaluations.


  1. Represents the interests of the Department of Athletics and Western to the NCAA and affiliated conferences and associations.


  1. Serves as an advocate and public spokesperson for intercollegiate athletics with faculty, alumni, donors, the community and the media, sharing Western’s reputation as an outstanding undergraduate university.


  1. Actively engages major donors in collaboration with the assigned gift officers within the Western Foundation for direct fundraising opportunities.


  1. Recruits and works with volunteers and advisory groups in planning and implementing programs and projects.


  1. Works cooperatively and communicates effectively with the entire University community, including students, faculty, administrators, staff, alumni, and parents, as well as with the media and the public at large.


  1. Assures that departmental planning and decisions promote a full commitment to increasing diversity and equity related to student involvement.


  1. Ensures compliance of the intercollegiate athletics program with gender equity legislation adopted by the State of Washington, which includes oversight of the tuition-waiver program for gender equity, and with federal requirements of Title IX, prohibiting sex discrimination in all educational programs.




  1. A bachelor’s degree and significant experience in management at a senior level with a demonstrated understanding of intercollegiate athletics.
  2. Demonstrated ability to perform all supervision tasks related to the hiring, management, and evaluation of coaches and support staff.
  3. Demonstrated strong organizational and strategic planning skills and an ability to fulfill the broad range of responsibilities required for the position.
  4. Evidence of a commitment to academic and intercollegiate athletic excellence.
  5. Demonstrated commitment to diversity and gender equity.
  6. Verified ability to ensure strict compliance with regulations and laws governing intercollegiate athletics.
  7. Significant experience in fiscal planning and budget management.
  8. Evidence of ability to succeed in fundraising.
  9. Dynamic leadership with creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit.


  1. A master’s degree and significant experience in management at a senior level within intercollegiate athletics or related sport and recreation organizations.
  2. Demonstrated ability to work collegially and cooperatively with the broader institutional community.
  3. Outstanding communication and management skills.
  4. Demonstrated understanding of, and experience with, fundraising, marketing and development for a NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletics program.
  5. Knowledge of facilities planning and management.




Alden & Associates, Inc. is assisting Western Washington University with this search. Interested applicants should view the Executive Search Profile for this position at http://www.aldenandassoc.com/executive-search/current-searches.html

Applications and inquiries will be treated in strictest confidence. Screening of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Applications should be received no later than January 29, 2014 for priority consideration.


Applicants must include three separate documents:  (1) resume; (2) letter of application that specifically addresses the above responsibilities and qualifications; and (3) a listing of four references, including names, titles, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses.


Please note that applications must be submitted electronically in PDF format. Salary will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. Final offer of employment is contingent on a successful background check.


Apply for the position at: http://www.aldenandassoc.com/executive-search/current-searches.html


Nominations should be forwarded to:


Dr. Betsy Alden, President/CEO

Ms. Barb Schroeder, Senior Associate

Alden & Associates, Inc.

25 Sterling Road

Florence, MA 01062






Western Washington University (WWU) is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer committed to assembling a diverse, broadly trained faculty and staff. Women, minorities, people with disabilities and veterans are strongly encouraged to apply. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, WWU does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or genetic information in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs.

How To Apply