University of South Alabama

Dr. Joel Erdmann
Director of Athletics

Dr. Joel Erdmann

Dr. Joel Erdmann has presided over one of the most successful eras in the University of South Alabama’s history and is now entering his 12th year as Director of Athletics. Such success follows hard work and an atmosphere of excellence inspired by the Erdmann motto and department’s core values, “graduation, citizenship, championships.”

Over the past decade-plus, Erdmann’s impact includes: milestone records both on the field and in the classroom by student-athletes, the beginning of an NCAA Division I FBS football program, new construction and/or renovation in every sport/facility, unprecedented fundraising, and the hiring of championship-driven team of coaches as well as a stellar team of administrative professionals and staff. Erdmann’s championship mindset lead to the department’s best-ever Academic Progress Rate scores and GPA in the history of Jaguar Athletics and the Sun Belt Conference All-Sports Championship Vic Bubas Cups four years in a row.

Over the course of his career in intercollegiate athletics, Erdmann’s expertise has been called upon for service in leadership and advisory roles within universities, conferences, the NCAA, and in communities to advance the future of sports for women and men. Erdmann currently serves as the Sun Belt Conference representative on the board of the LEAD1 Association.

Over the past 23 years in athletic administration, Erdmann has been entrusted to serve on both football and baseball championship selection committees. In baseball, Erdmann served a four-year term on the prestigious NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Committee where he served as Chairman of the Championship Selection Committee for the 2016 College World Series. As chair, his leadership responsibilities include oversight of the process to select and seed the best championship field of teams and provide the best experience for student-athletes, coaches, and fans for the NCAA DI Championship Baseball Tournament in Omaha.

In football, Erdmann joined a select group of Athletic Directors in 2017 who completed a mock selection exercise for the College Football Playoff Committee. During the 2006-07 academic year, Erdmann served on the NCAA Division II Football Championship Committee and he co-chaired the NCAA Division II Football Southeast Region Advisory Committee.

With an eye toward the future, Erdmann understands students, coaches and communities often define themselves by the places and spaces they gather. Creating a vibrant interactive game-day atmosphere for fans and a meaningful, competitive experience for student-athletes is an Erdmann hallmark for sustained success and a foundation for growth. Erdmann’s tenure at the University of South Alabama has touched every aspect of brick and mortar making up Jaguar Athletics. Taking into account his experiences in the construction and renovation of numerous facilities including the new Hancock Whitney Stadium, Erdmann recognizes the unique challenges in maintaining or constructing sports venues from funding and financing, development and planning, design, architecture, engineering and systems integration, and operations and maintenance for these venues.