Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis announced the hiring of Julie Cromer as Director of Athletics on Aug. 15, 2019. She will join the Bobcats as Ohio’s first female athletics director in University history on August 31.
Cromer comes to Ohio University from the University of Arkansas, where she has served most recently as senior deputy athletics director, associate vice chancellor and senior woman administrator for Razorback Athletics. In addition to her executive role at Arkansas, Cromer is a respected leader within college athletics nationally. She currently serves on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and is a member of the Board of Directors of Women Leaders in College Sports.
“We’re excited to welcome Julie to my leadership team at Ohio University,” said President Nellis. “Her talent, vision, and passion for intercollegiate athletics and the student-athlete experience will only serve to elevate our athletic program and our University. With a keen understanding and focus for ways in which athletics can serve as a front porch for our University, Julie is especially poised to enhance our athletics program, bolster our student-athlete experience, and increase academic engagement, and I am confident that Julie is the right person to lead our Bobcat Athletics family as we move forward.”
Cromer was identified through a national search launched in June after former Ohio University Director of Athletics Jim Schaus left the Bobcats to serve as the commissioner for the Southern Conference.
Nellis said Cromer stood out from among four finalists who visited campus in early August because of the depth of her experience across the athletics landscape, including day-to-day administration of 19 varsity sports, leading strategic planning efforts, assisting with capital fundraising, and serving as a liaison to campus governance groups and to the Southeastern Conference. In addition, Cromer spent 10 years of her career in the NCAA national office, including as the director of academic and membership affairs, working to advance NCAA academic reform and other policy initiatives. She left the NCAA to join Indiana University as the executive associate athletics director, where she was one of the first women in the Big Ten to supervise all elements of a collegiate football program.
Cromer, who grew up in a small community in Southern Missouri, said the beauty of the campus and the region added to her enthusiasm. “It is absolutely a beautiful part of the country. I’m looking forward to a memorable first fall football season in Athens.”