Joel Erdmann named director of athletics
HAMMOND -- Joel W. Erdmann, who has directed the athletic program at the University of North Alabama in Florence for the past five years, has been appointed director of athletics at Southeastern Louisiana University.
Erdmann’s appointment is contingent upon final approval by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors. He is expected to join the Southeastern staff by the end of May.
He will be the university’s 11th director of athletics and will fill a position previously held on an interim basis by former head football coach Dennis Roland.
“We are excited to welcome Dr. Erdmann to our staff,” said President Randy Moffett. “He has a broad range of experience, not just in athletics but in university administration in general. He shares Southeastern’s philosophy that the student comes first in the ‘student-athlete’ designation. He is an individual who expects that students reach their full potential in the classroom, just as in athletic competition. He has a proven record of effective fund raising and is an excellent manager of a highly diversified athletic staff.”
“I was attracted to Southeastern for several reasons,” Erdmann said, “including the opportunity to be part of an administration that places a strong emphasis on academic performance, the chance to compete at the high level of the Southland Conference, and the prospects of working with a large group of professional staff and coaches. The entire north shore region is experiencing considerable growth, and Southeastern is in the middle of that growth. This presents opportunities and challenges that can definitely impact an athletic program.”
At Southeastern, Erdmann will oversee 16 NCAA Division I affiliated programs that compete in the Southland Conference. Since joining the SLC in 1997-98, the Lions have captured 16 conference championships, including four regular-season titles in women's soccer, two in men's basketball and two in women's tennis.
Erdmann joined the North Alabama Lion Athletic Department in August 2002 and served concurrently as the institution’s interim vice president for student affairs for a year in 2005. The university is a member of the NCAA Division II and the Gulf South Conference. The UNA football team went to the national playoffs three times in the last four years, twice earning conference championships and reaching the national semi-finals.
Under his leadership, the university achieved high academic performance among its student athletes, including the highest graduation rate of any four-year public institution with football in Alabama and the highest semester departmental grade point average in the school’s history.
As a director of a program with 12 sports, 270 student-athletes, and a staff of 50, Erdmann was responsible for the creation and control of a $3.5 million operating budget, successfully increasing every sport program’s operating budget for the first time since 1988. He supervised $1.8 million in facility enhancements that included basketball arena renovations, an $800,000 softball field and stadium and major renovations to the baseball grandstand and locker rooms.
In the area of fund raising, Erdmann enhanced the university’s booster club, created a new corporate partner program that saw corporate giving increase from $40,000 to more than $300,000, and negotiated and signed new radio broadcast agreements.
Prior to joining North Alabama, he served in a number of capacities at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, including assistant athletic director and director of the Jaguar Athletic Club, assistant to the athletic director handling compliance issues, game operations and special projects, associate professor in the College of Education where he also served as graduate assistant coordinator, and assistant baseball coach.
Erdmann earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in education from South Dakota State University, a master’s in education in physical education from the University of South Alabama, and a doctorate in sport management/athletic administration from Florida State University in Tallahassee.
Erdmann has served as a member of the NCAA Division II National Football Committee since 2006, co-chaired the Division II Football Southeast Region Advisory Committee and served as a member of the Gulf South Conference Strategic Planning Committee.