Superintendent's Remarks at Press Conference 9 September 2013
Mr. Ramsey, Coaches, the Athletic Department Staff, Cadets, Keydet Club Leaders, Faculty & Staff, and Friends…
Welcome on this special day as VMI presents the new leader of its athletic programs and his family. He will replace Coach Donny White, who will retire after The Citadel game on 16 November, and who has been magnificent in leading us for the past 15 years. We will farewell he and Betty later this fall, and they will also return for a full retirement parade in his honor on 25 April 2014. Thank you Coach White; you will hear that many times from friends and admirers…in the weeks ahead.
Well, today is special…; college athletics is fully integrated in all we do here at the Institute…its vital to who we are….as we are one Corps…and one Big Red Team. I think our student-athletes and coaches have the most difficult challenge in America…; all of us are proud of them as they play to win the VMI way with great sportsmanship and discipline. Thus, its leader must be “special”…and that is just who we have selected to lead us. We wanted a seasoned NCAA Athletic Director that had experience leading staff, coaches, and managing financial programs, while engaging in development activities. But more importantly, we wanted a gentleman that wanted to lead in the VMI unique environment with all of the challenges faced by our athletic staff and our student athletes. We wanted a leader that would be deeply respected, could motivate, counsel and would always do what is right for the Institute and its’ cadets. My thanks to our Search Committee led by Mr. Bob Mitchell, VMI Class ’62 of Winchester, VA for their hard work…, to Coach David Braine, our consultant thru-out the process and he is here today. Thanks Dave.
So it’s an honor this morning to present Dr. Dave Diles, his wife Suzanne Diles, and sons Matthew and Mitchell. Let me ask them to please rise and receive our applause and welcome (Applause). Suzanne has been recognized numerous times for her outstanding work, contributions, and volunteerism in public schools.
Matthew attended Bucknell University and is currently a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve, and Mitchell is a senior at Case Western and rumor has it that he may attend law school upon graduation. He could not be here today due to academic requirements.
Before I turn the podium over to Dr. Diles…let me mention a few points on his journey that has resulted in his family being in Lexington today:
- He received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University in 1983 and a Master of Sports Administration from the same University in 1984. In 1988 he earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of Michigan.
- Early-on in his career, he served as a ticketing and marketing intern with the New England Patriots; as an Assistant Director of Public Relations with the New York Jets; as Director of Athletics at Dexter Community School where he built a solid interscholastic program for middle and high school youth; and as an Assistant Director of Athletics at Central Michigan with responsibility for compliance, athletic academic support and eligibility.
- In 1991, he was Assistant Director of Athletics at Auburn and, in 1994 he was selected from that position to be Vice President/Director of Athletics at St. Bonaventure University and a member of the President’s Cabinet. Under his guidance, outstanding results were achieved in administration, fund-raising, student graduation rates, and his teams won more Atlantic 10 Conference Championships from 1995-99 than in all previous years combined.
- From 1995-2005, he was appointed Director of Athletics at Eastern Michigan University; His programs won 2 Mid-America Conference Championships; were certified compliant without conditions by the NCAA, and dramatically improved graduation rates and GPAs of its student athletes were recorded.
- Today, he reports to VMI from Case Western Reserve University, a highly regarded comprehensive research university, in Cleveland, Ohio where he served as Director of Athletics and Chair of the Department of Physical Education, with 19 Sports at the Division III level. During his tenure, the department had 9 NCAA post graduate scholarship recipients; 37 Academic All-Americans; 46 All-Americans; the football team won 38 consecutive victories in 2007-2009 earning NCAA berths 3 times, while 7 other sports won their first NCAA championship berths. The graduation rate of student athletes was 92% with a department grade point average of 3.39. And interestingly…in addition to his oversight of the faculty and physical education curriculum for the full undergraduate student population….his responsibilities in 2013 were expanded to include oversight of the Reserve Officer Training Corps.
Dave Diles has an impressive record of success everywhere he has served…he has participated in Conference and NCAA committee work, performed community service, is published, has had Title IX and vast experience with female sports and actively “fund-raised” for his programs.
His background, approach, and leadership fits well with the demanding VMI philosophy for our cadet athletes of commitment on the field, commitment in the classroom, and commitment within the Corps of Cadets. Please join me in warmly welcoming Dr. Dave Diles as our next Athletic Director of the Virginia Military Institute.