Sarah Dehring, associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Alma College, has been named the school’s athletic director following a national search. She has served as the interim athletic director since June 2019.
Dehring will be responsible for the overall development and general management of Alma’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, effective immediately, announces Jeff Abernathy, Alma College president.
“Sarah’s experiences as a student-athlete, NCAA Division III coach and athletics administrator, her emphasis on student-athlete development and her loyalty to Alma College make her a strong match for leading our athletic program,” says Abernathy. “I am excited to work with Sarah and look forward to our continued partnership.”
Dehring has filled Alma’s associate athletic director position since January 2013, serving as the highest-ranked female in the athletic department of 60 staff members and 600-plus student-athletes. Her duties have included direct supervision of strength and conditioning and athletic training. She also has served as the athletic department’s compliance officer, educating coaches and staff on rules and regulations assigned by the NCAA.
In addition, she has led the department’s service-learning outreach and was instrumental in bringing the Helper Helper organization to the Alma campus as a means to foster civic-mindedness in all Alma students. Her service works have ranged from Alternative Break service trips to serving as a Big Brother Big Sister board member and mentor.
Earlier this year, Dehring was one of 22 senior administrators nationwide selected to participate in the NCAA Pathway Program, a year-long leadership development initiative for senior-level athletics administrators.
“I am honored to be named the next director of athletics at Alma College,” says Dehring. “I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to President Abernathy, the members of the search committee, and the Alma College campus community for their support and confidence in me to lead this program as we continue to build a culture of excellence. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest leaders in the business and will continue to bring that education and those resources to grow and develop Alma College Athletics.”
Dehring sees Alma College as a preferred destination for student-athletes and staff, as athletics collaborates with all campus sectors to provide a co-curricular experience “for students to develop and become stewards of the world.”
“All Scots will live out the Alma College Athletics mission, while we deliver a student-athlete experience that prepares graduates who think critically, serve generously and lead purposefully,” she says.
Dehring came to Alma College in 2011 as head volleyball coach. The Scots won 260 matches over five seasons under her leadership, including 151 MIAA contests. After moving into athletic administration, Dehring was named the 2017 College STUNT Association Administrator of the Year, and she received the 2017 Alma College Presidential Award for Excellence.
Prior to Alma, Dehring was assistant volleyball coach at Iowa Western College, St. Joseph’s College (IN) and Arizona Western College and a graduate assistant at Lakeland College (now Lakeland University).
A Michigan native, Dehring played collegiate volleyball at Ferris State University. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education from FSU and a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Lakeland College, Sheboygan, Wisc.
Alma College offers 29 varsity sports — 13 men’s and 16 women’s, plus spirit squad. Thirty-four percent of Alma students typically participate in intercollegiate athletics. Alma competes in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, the oldest athletic conference in the nation.