Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) purposefully integrates the liberal arts, professional studies, and civic engagement in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. With distinctive international programs and close student-faculty research opportunities, PLU helps its 3,100 students from all faiths and backgrounds discern their life’s vocation through coursework, mentorship, and internships at world-class Puget Sound-area businesses and institutions. Founded in 1890 by Norwegian pioneers, PLU continues the distinctive tradition of Lutheran higher education through its commitment to the advancement of knowledge, thoughtful inquiry, and questioning the preparation of citizens in service to the world, and to its ongoing reform. Located in the Parkland neighborhood of Tacoma, Washington, PLU is set in a region that also offers vast opportunities for outdoor recreation, culture, and sports. The university consistently ranks among the top 20 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Universities in the West and has produced 100 Fulbright Scholars since 1975.

PLU Athletics is dedicated to developing lifelong leaders through athletics united in teamwork, excellence, and service. Lutes have won 11 national championships and a total of 251 Northwest Conference titles since 1966. Individually, 47 Lute student-athletes have captured national championships, and more than 400 student-athletes have been named to All-America teams. PLU student-athletes also excel academically, earning 11 NCAA post-graduate scholarships and numerous Academic All-America selections.

The Position
The director of athletics and recreation at Pacific Lutheran University oversees all aspects of the administration of PLU’s Division III athletics program and a historically robust campus recreation program that includes club sports, intramurals, and outdoor recreation. Reporting directly to the President with a dotted line to the Vice President for Student Life for day-to-day collaboration regarding student experience, the director fosters principles that encourage integrity, student well-being, diversity, and inclusiveness throughout all levels of the organization while promoting an environment of excellence and success.

The director provides leadership and direction supporting the student experience and persistence, university priorities of access and equity, university recruitment and retention, and resource development with specific attention to fundraising. The director will develop, implement, and monitor policies and procedures that promote best practices and address personnel development, financial management, facility renovation and enhancement, alumni and community relations, and compliance and regulatory expectations while advancing a high level of integration of athletics into the overall student experience. In addition, the director works closely with the admission office in the recruitment of scholar athletes and the establishment of a high level recruitment strategy. The director partners with the office of advancement to assist and support the Lute Club—a group comprised of alumni, parents, and friends of the university. As a strong institutional partner, the director provides leadership to staff and coaches, and works collaboratively and productively with academic affairs, student life, and counseling, health and wellness services around an emerging institutional health and well-being priority. The director leads and manages a dynamic department with almost 90 full and part-time staff, 19 varsity sports, representing over 400 scholar-athletes, and robust recreational programming including club sports, intramurals, group fitness, and outdoor recreation engaging over 1,100 students annually.

A minimum of seven years of progressive leadership experience in collegiate athletics administration, recreation, or a closely related field and a bachelor’s degree is required; a master’s degree is strongly preferred. The successful candidate will possess a comprehensive understanding of intercollegiate athletics administration, student-athlete development, facilities management and resourcing, NCAA compliance within a Division III environment, and the role of fundraising in supporting strategic and operational objectives. A collaborative management approach, coupled with superior communication and relationship-building skills, strong planning and fiscal competencies, an understanding of the role of enrollment at a small, private university, a familiarity with program development and assessment, demonstrated experience supporting recreational programs as part of overall student well-being, excellent problem solving abilities, and a high degree of cultural competence demonstrating respect for diversity of identities and experiences will be important considerations in the selection of the next director of athletics and recreation.

Application and Nomination
Review of applications will begin March 10, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Dell Robinson at or Anne-Marie Kenney at Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

We are sensitive to how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting work and personal lives, and will offer the utmost flexibility throughout the interview process. The search committee expects to conduct initial interviews virtually for the safety and well-being of all involved. 

Visit the Pacific Lutheran University website at

Pacific Lutheran University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or any other status protected by law in the educational programs or activities which it operates. Numerous federal, state and local laws, including but not limited to the following federal laws, prohibit discrimination in educational programs, activities, admission to and employment at PLU: Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973