MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

March 20, 2013

Tulsa names Gragg to head athletic department

TULSA – Dr. Derrick Gragg has been selected as The University of Tulsa’s vice president and director of athletics, TU president Steadman Upham announced on Wednesday.

Gragg has spent the past seven years as the director of athletics at Eastern Michigan University, where he has been responsible for an intercollegiate athletic program with 21 teams, 550 student-athletes and 80 staff members. Gragg has spent the past 20 years in progressively advanced roles at Arkansas, Michigan, Missouri and Vanderbilt.

Gragg will be introduced to the Tulsa community during a news conference at 2 p.m. Friday at the Donald W. Reynolds Center President’s Suite.

“We are extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Derrick Gragg will be joining TU as our new director of athletics,” Upham said. “Our search committee was presented with an impressive field of applicants for this position, and Derrick stood out as an exceptional candidate.”

Under Gragg’s leadership, Eastern Michigan has enjoyed successful campaigns not only on the field, but also in the classroom. EMU athletic teams have accumulated 22 Mid-American Conference (MAC) championships in that time. Meanwhile, Eastern Michigan’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) reached 969, while the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) was at 74 percent, far exceeding the four-year student-body rate.

“I am very excited to accept the position of director of athletics at TU. It is a wonderful opportunity to lead a program of this caliber,” Gragg said. “The university’s combination of academic and athletic success dovetails perfectly with my own personal and professional core values. My family and I are eager to become an integral part the Tulsa community and the TU family.”

Eastern Michigan has seen its athletic fundraising levels reach new heights with four of the top five funding years occurring under Gragg’s tenure as athletic director. He has been responsible for oversight of all facets of athletics, including athletics development, financial affairs and budgeting and compliance.

As EMU athletic director, he hired 10 head coaches. In 2009-10, he spearheaded the construction of EMU’s $3.9 million multipurpose indoor athletic practice facility. He also has been nationally recognized for his leadership, earning the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) Administrator of the Year Award in 2008-09.

A former collegiate wide receiver, Gragg lettered four years at Vanderbilt while earning his bachelor’s degree in human development in 1992. He earned his master’s degree in sports administration from Wayne State University in 1999 and has since served as an adjunct faculty instructor at both Wayne State and Eastern Michigan.

Gragg earned his doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas in May of 2004 and also taught two undergraduate courses during his tenure there as an athletic administrator.

A native of Huntsville, Ala., Gragg was inducted into the Huntsville-Madison County (Ala.) Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. He is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the Black Coaches and Administrators (BCA).

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