Steven Rackley Named Athletic Director

“I’m looking forward to working with the coaches, faculty and staff to create the best opportunities for our student-athletes to succeed academically, athletically and as people.” — Steven Rackley

Steven Rackley, a 28-year veteran of athletic department leadership, including 16 years as the head of the highly successful Division II program at the University of Findlay, has been named athletic director at Alma College following a national search.

Rackley will be responsible for the overall development and general management of Alma’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, effective July 1, 2015, announces Jeff Abernathy, Alma College president.

“Steven’s experiences, values and vision for intercollegiate athletics are a great match for Alma College,” says Abernathy. “He understands the delicate balance between academics and extra-curricular involvement that is so important for a place like Alma. He has a track record of achievement and winning teams at his previous positions. He and his wife know this area well, and his wife has Michigan roots. We look forward to Steven’s arrival this summer.”

An 11-member search committee, chaired by Karen Ball, professor of integrative physiology and health science, reviewed more than 150 applications for the AD position. The committee was composed of individuals representing every sector of campus as well as alumni.

“Steven brings extensive administrative experience with significant evidence of success to our AD position,” says Ball. “His programs at Findlay routinely won conference championships as well as national titles over his nearly two decades of leadership.

“In addition to his work on Findlay’s campus, his record includes significant service to intercollegiate athletics at the conference and national levels,” says Ball. “It was clear that through his leadership he has garnered the respect and admiration of his coaches at Findlay, and we expect that under his guidance Alma College Athletics will see great success in the years to come.”

Rackley has 28 years of experience in athletic department leadership. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Utah and a Master of Sports Administration and Facility Management degree from Ohio University.

“At Alma, there are tremendous people and tremendous facilities in place to build a model Division III athletics program, and that excites me,” says Rackley. “I’m looking forward to working with the coaches, faculty and staff to create the best opportunities for our student-athletes to succeed academically, athletically and as people. I thank President Abernathy and the search committee for giving me this opportunity. My wife and I are thrilled to be starting a new adventure at Alma.”

At Findlay, Rackley oversees 24 men’s and women’s sports with responsibilities in the areas of facilities and scheduling, promotions and marketing, student relations, academics, budgets and scholarships, fund raising, and NCAA compliance.

He is a past member of the NCAA Division II Membership Committee and the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference Executive Council, serving as council president in 2007-08.

Findlay’s athletic highlights during Rackley’s leadership have included a Division II national championship in men’s basketball; GLIAC championships in men’s basketball, men’s golf and wrestling; and NCAA tournament qualifiers in volleyball, wrestling, basketball and women’s golf. Findlay’s equestrian teams also have won multiple IHSA national championships.

Prior to Findlay, Rackley was associate athletic director for operations at Marshall University, associate athletic director for internal operations at Weber State University and athletic business manager at Salt Lake Community College.

Rackley replaces John Leister, who resigned as athletic director in November.

Alma College offers 23 varsity sports — 11 for men, 11 for women plus competitive cheer. 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.


Story published on March 10, 2015