Ohio Wesleyan University recently announced the appointment of Douglas W. Zipp as the University’s twelfth athletic director since Branch Rickey held the position in 1907. Zipp will join Ohio Wesleyan August 15 to lead an NCAA Division III program that will be adding its 24th and 25th athletic sports in 2018 (women’s rowing and men’s wrestling).
For the past five years, Zipp has served as director of athletics at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va., where he oversees 21 varsity sports with 480 student-athletes and 53 full-time and part-time coaches, administrators, and staff.
“Doug Zipp brings a strong background in both athletics and higher education, and he will be a major asset in future strategic planning for athletics at Ohio Wesleyan,” said Chuck Stinemetz, Ph.D., chair of the search committee and OWU provost. “His extensive experience in Division III athletics and in student life make him uniquely qualified to carry on and enhance OWU’s long tradition of success on the playing fields and achievement in the classroom and in life after graduation.”
Zipp led Shenandoah’s athletics program through a time of transition, as the school changed conferences, undertook the university’s largest athletic construction project, launched women’s golf as a new sport, and initiated programs that helped raise the grade point average of student-athletes from 2.8 to 3.08.
Before joining Shenandoah, Zipp worked 16 years at Kenyon College, joining Kenyon in 1996 as dean of residential life. He later was promoted to special assistant to the president and dean of students, and in 2005 he was named associate director of athletics for facilities and operations.
“I am very excited to be joining the OWU community,” Zipp said. “Ohio Wesleyan has a strong history of athletic excellence and competitiveness in the North Coast Athletic Conference, with nine all-sport trophies and five national championships. This athletic presence, along with OWU’s strong academic credentials, places OWU at the top in Division III.”
Ohio Wesleyan President Rock Jones said, “Doug brings to OWU a strategic and visionary management approach and a passion for the important role of Division III athletics in a liberal arts institution. He will be a valuable partner working with coaches, faculty, students, alumni, and the entire OWU global community as we continue to grow and provide exceptional experiences for Ohio Wesleyan students.”
Zipp is active in professional and community service, serving on the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel for the past four years and on the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Northern Shenandoah Valley for the past five years. He earned a B.S. degree in psychology from Elmira College, and he holds an M.S. in higher education administration from the University of Rochester.
Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts universities. Located in Delaware, Ohio, the private university offers 87 undergraduate majors and competes in 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. Ohio Wesleyan combines a challenging, internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities to connect classroom theory with real-world experience. OWU’s 1,675 students represent 43 U.S. states and territories and 33 countries. Ohio Wesleyan is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives” and is included in the U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review “best colleges” lists. Learn more at www.owu.edu.
Information for this story was provided by Will Kopp.