Women Leaders in College Sports Announces the 2020-21 Board of Directors and Nominating Committee Appointees


October 15, 2020

Meg Dowd
Women Leaders in College Sports
[email protected] 

Kansas City, Mo.—The Women Leaders in College Sports membership has elected the following to serve on the 2020-21 Board of Directors and Nominating Committees.  

Board of Directors:
  • Keri Becker, Director of Athletics at Grand Valley State University (DII)
  • Lesley Irvine, Vice President & Director of Athletics at Colorado College (DIII)
  • Jennifer Lynne Williams, Director of Athletics at Alabama State University (DI-FCS)
  • President-Elect :  Heather Lyke, Director of Athletics at the University of Pittsburg (DI-FBS)

Nominating Committee:
  • Sarah Dehring, Director of Athletics at Alma College (DIII)
  • Felicia Johnson, Director of Athletics at Virginia Union University (DII)
  • Maggie McKinley, Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Cincinnati (DI-FBS)
  • Ashley Reid, Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at The College of Wooster (DIII)

Board of Directors Announcement

Heather Lyke, Director of Athletics at the University of Pittsburgh (DI-FBS), will serve on a three-year executive track, serving as president-elect in 2020-2021. Additionally, the four-year board terms for Becker, Irvine, and Williams officially began on October 15, 2020. 

Lyke, as the director of athletics, leads a University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department that encompasses 19 intercollegiate sports programs with nearly 470 student-athletes who compete in the prestigious Atlantic Coast Conference. Since her arrival in March 2017, Lyke has dramatically reenergized Pitt Athletics, recruiting eight new head coaches and directing a dynamic rebrand of the University’s athletic marks and logos. She unveiled Pitt Studios, the department’s state-of-the-art broadcast production facilities that helped launch the ACC Network in August 2019. The facilities support the University’s first-ever broadcast and media studies curriculum. In January 2020, the department announced the launching of Victory Heights which is a transformative vision to significantly enhance the athletic facilities where 16 of our 19 teams live, learn and train. Lyke served on the Women Leaders Board of Directors from 2014-2018.

Becker is currently in her fifth year as the director of athletics at Grand Valley State University. She has spent her entire career in intercollegiate athletics spanning 25+ years. Becker was appointed to the post on April 7, 2016 and officially took over on July 18, 2016. Prior to being named Director of Athletics, Becker’s career has always been on a college campus. She began her journey in 1990 as a softball student-athlete at Division II Saginaw Valley State University, moved into the head softball coaching position in 1996, at yet another rival school, Ferris State University where she stayed for 15 years. Most recently, Becker was appointed by Michigan Governor, Gretchen Whitmer to the Task Force of Women in Sports. She was also recently named to the NCAA Division II Membership Committee.

Irvine began her tenure as vice president and director of athletics at Colorado College on June 1, 2019, and since that time CC Athletics has experienced unprecedented success and several landmark moments. During the fall of 2019, the Tigers ranked in the top 10 percent nationally in the Division III Directors' Cup Standings, Colorado College’s highest ranking ever. The men’s soccer team, which won its first-ever SCAC regular-season championship, and volleyball team earned berths in their respective NCAA Championships. The men’s and women’s cross country teams also swept the SCAC championships as a first-time host. Irvine, a member of the Colorado Springs Sports Corporation Board of Directors, has provided key leadership in the planning and construction of the Ed Robson Arena, a state-of-the-art 3,400-seat facility that will provide the Colorado College hockey team an on-campus home for the first time in program history.

Williams was elevated to director of intercollegiate athletics at Alabama State University (ASU) on October 10, 2018. Since Williams took over the lead of the department, Alabama State has captured back-to-back SWAC Commissioner’s Cups trophies and back-to-back Academic Awards. This past year, the Hornets were recognized with the Academic Award after 236 student-athletes, 72 percent of the population, finished the semester with a 3.0 or better GPA. The Hornets also had 14 teams finish with a 3.0 or better GPA, and all 16 (track and field combined) finish with a 2.7 or better GPA. Not only have the Hornets excelled in the classroom, but during the leadership of Williams, they have won in their respective field of competition. The teams have combined to win 22 conference championships and have participated in several NCAA postseason tournaments. 

Becker, Irvine, and Williams step in for departing board members Lori Hendricks, Mount Holyoke College; Lindsay Reeves, University of North Georgia; Jennifer Strawley, University of Miami; and immediate past president Lynn Holzman, NCAA. 

View the complete Women Leaders in College Sports Board of Directors list here.

Nominating Committee Announcement

The membership has elected Dehring, Johnson, McKinley, and Reid, to the Nominating Committee, and those individuals will start their appointments on October 15, 2020.

Dehring was named Alma College’s athletic director in October 2019 following a national search. She has served as the interim athletic director since June 2019 and has also been the senior woman administrator since 2016. Dehring is responsible for the overall development and general management of Alma's NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program. She has filled Alma's associate athletic director position since January 2013, serving as the highest-ranked female in the athletic department of 60 staff members and 600-plus student-athletes. Her duties have included direct supervision of strength and conditioning and athletic training. She has also served as the athletic department's compliance officer, educating coaches and staff on rules and regulations assigned by the NCAA.

Johnson begins her second year at the helm of the department serving as director of athletics. Johnson is the first female Athletic Director in VUU History. She joined the staff in July 2007 as Director of Compliance. Since then, she had been awarded additional responsibilities as the Senior Woman Administrator and Associate Athletic Director. As the SWA and Associate Athletic Director, she served as part of the senior management team and assisted the Director of Athletics in the decision-making process. As the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance, Johnson was responsible for coordinating the certification of all student-athletes. Also, she was responsible for developing, implementing, education and monitoring, for the compliance systems for the NCAA, CIAA, and Virginia Union University. Johnson also served as sport oversight for softball, tennis, volleyball, track and field and bowling. She also was the overseer of medical staff. 

McKinley joined the University of Cincinnati staff in 2001 and currently serves as the Executive Senior Associate Director of Athletics and the department's Senior Woman Administrator. As a member of the Director of Athletics’ Senior Staff, McKinley provides strategic direction on departmental initiatives, policy development and implementation, enhancement of athletic performance, student-athlete welfare, Title IX compliance and equity and inclusion. She has sport supervision of Football and Women’s Basketball in addition to direct oversight of the Medical Services, Sports Performance, Compliance and Sport Services departments. McKinley was instrumental in building the department’s comprehensive NCAA rules compliance program, including on-going evaluation, development of policies and procedures and rules interpretations. 

Reid has served as the associate director of athletics and chair of the physical education department at The College of Wooster since July 2019. Reid is involved with all of the athletic department’s day-to-day operations while also serving as sports supervisor for Field Hockey, Men’s Soccer, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country, Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving, Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track and Field, Baseball, Softball, and Men’s and Women’s Outdoor Track. During the 2019-20 academic year, Reid was one of 22 senior administrators nationwide selected to participate in the prestigious NCAA Pathway Program, a yearlong leadership development program for senior-level athletics administrators.  In 2019, Reid was named the recipient of NADIIIAA’s Transitioning Athletic Administrator Award and was accepted to the 2019 NCAA/Women Leaders Executive Institute.

View the complete Women Leaders in College Sports Nominating Committee list here.


About Women Leaders in College Sports

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA) is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect, and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics. More than 3,500 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership, and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches, and student-athletes. Follow Women Leaders on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @WomenLeadersCS.