Eastern Michigan’s Derrick Gragg named TU’s new athletic director
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
3/21/13 at 8:40 AM
Dr. Derrick Gragg, Eastern Michigan University’s athletic director since 2006, has accepted an offer to become the University of Tulsa’s new vice president and AD.
An introductory news conference has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday at the Reynolds Center. Gragg’s start date is May 1.
In a statement issued by TU, university President Steadman Upham said, “We are extremely pleased to announce that Dr. Derrick Gragg will be joining TU as our new director of athletics. Our search committee was presented with an impressive field of applicants for this position, and Derrick stood out as an exceptional candidate.
“TU has seen several key changes in the past year, and a handful of questions remain with regard to NCAA compliance and conference realignment. We feel that Derrick’s history of integrity and excellence is well-suited to manage those issues and keep our university and its athletic program moving forward. He will be an enthusiastic and dedicated leader for Golden Hurricane student-athletes and their coaches.”
Gragg also was quoted in a university press release: "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. 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.”
A Huntsville, Ala., native and former Vanderbilt wide receiver, the 43-year-old Gragg was a University of Arkansas associate athletic director in 2000-06. During the ‘90s, he served as a compliance director at the University of Missouri and the University of Michigan.
In 2009, the Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) presented to Gragg its national Administrator of the Year Award.
The University of Tulsa had been without a full-time athletic director since Dec. 4, when Ross Parmley was fired.
TU is awaiting the results of an NCAA investigation into Parmley’s alleged gambling on college football and NFL games. TU officials have expressed confidence that there will be no sanctions.
Kevan Buck, TU’s executive vice president and treasurer, has been the acting athletic director since Parmley was dismissed. Parmley had been promoted to the job only 10 months before his firing.
Applicants for the Tulsa job were asked to submit information first to Carr Sports Associates, a Gainesville, Fla.-based search firm. Based on the criteria expressed by TU when the opening was posted on an NCAA website, Carr Sports recommended candidates who became involved in the interview process.
There were more than 200 applicants for the Golden Hurricane AD position.
With a 2012-13 enrollment of 4,326, TU is the smallest school competing in Football Bowl Subdivision classification. TU also is a private university and not obligated to divulge budget and salary information. It is not known how much Parmley was paid as TU's athletic director, it is believed that his predecessor, Bubba Cunningham, made $413,000 during his final year at the university.
When a new athletic director is in place, TU can more aggressively resume its bid to raise funds for the construction of an indoor practice facility. At Eastern Michigan, Gragg oversaw the development of a $3.9 million indoor facility.
Derrick Gragg bio
Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
*Gragg and his wife Sanya are the parents of three children.
In 1988-91, Gragg played wide receiver for the Vanderbilt football team. As a senior, he was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
* In 1992, he graduated from Vanderbilt with a degree in human development.
* During the late ‘90s, he graduated from Wayne State (Mich.) with a master’s degree in sports administration.
* In 2004, he earned his doctorate in higher education from the University of Arkansas.
2006-13: Eastern Michigan University, athletic director.
2003-06: University of Arkansas, senior associate athletic director.
2000-03: University of Arkansas, associate athletic director.
1997-2000: University of Michigan, assistant athletic director for compliance.
1995-97: University of Missouri, director of compliance and operations. Chairman of the Big 12 Compliance Coordinators Group.