Ayanna Tweedy Named First Full-Time Athletic Director

Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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A former all-conference collegiate athlete, Ayanna Tweedy has helped lead athletic departments across the U.S. and is involved in several campus, conference and national committees on a variety of administrative and student-athlete issues.

Visionary intercollegiate athletics leader Ayanna C. Tweedy has been appointed the first full-time athletic director at Rose-Hulman, which has one of the nation’s leading NCAA Division III athletic programs with teams and student-athletes recognized for excellence nationally, regionally and within the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference. She is scheduled to begin the new responsibilities January 3, 2022.

Rose-Hulman conducted a nationwide search for a leader of its intercollegiate athletic program following the retirement of longtime athletic director and head baseball coach Jeff Jenkins.

Like Jenkins, Rose-Hulman’s past athletic directors have split time between coaching responsibilities and leading the athletic department. Tweedy will have full-time administrative responsibilities to help coaches, other staff members and student-athletes achieve department and personal development objectives. Tweedy also will oversee compliance to federal government, NCAA and conference regulations and policies, help build relationships with internal and external audiences, and collaborate with enrollment management, advancement, and other offices to achieve the institute’s strategic initiatives.

“The increasing administrative responsibilities of having an athletic department with 20 intercollegiate sports teams along with their coaches, support staff and student-athletes made it a necessity for us to have a full-time athletic director,” said Rose-Hulman President Robert A. Coons. “Ayanna brings the necessary skills we sought to keep our athletic programs successful and vibrant for today and well into the future. We want our athletic teams and student-athletes to remain competitive nationally and in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.”

Tweedy, a native of Chesterfield, Virginia, is presently the associate director of athletics and campus wellness along with being senior women administrator at Wabash College, a NCAA Division III college in Crawfordsville, Indiana. In these roles she helps supervise the athletic department’s business, compliance, DEI initiatives, equipment, facility and game day operations, sports performance, and sports medicine/athletic training. Tweedy is the head administrator for five athletic programs, supervises 12 coaches, and assists Wabash’s COVID-19 management and testing team that implemented health and safety protocols for game day management and administered the weekly testing of 800 students, faculty and staff. Additionally, Tweedy’s passions are in student-athlete and coach professional development, along with program and policy implementation for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

“I would like to humbly thank President Coons, Vice President Erik Hayes and the search committee for entrusting in me to serve this remarkable institution,” Tweedy said. “I am blessed and honored to join the Rose-Hulman family and I am excited about this transition. I look forward in working with our coaches, staff, and the greater Terre Haute community to continue the work of developing passionate and competitive scholar student-athletes.” 

Tweedy also currently chairs the North Coast Athletic Conference’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, co-chairs Wabash’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and has made presentations this year before the Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement and NCAA Division III Institute for Administrative Advancement. She is a 2020-2021 graduate of the NCAA Leadership Academy cohort and a 2019 graduate of the Women Leaders in College Sports’ Institute for Administrative Advancement. Tweedy participated in the 2019 NCAA effective facilitator workshop and currently serves as a DISC facilitator, which is an assessment tool used by to help improve teamwork, communication and productivity in the workplace.

“This position attracted a quality pool of candidates from throughout the country. Ayanna epitomizes the necessary qualities of today’s small-college athletic director and I’m looking forward to working with her to further enhance the athletic experience for our student-athletes,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Erik Hayes, whose institutional administrative responsibilities include athletics. “Athletics are an important part of the student experience – for our student-athletes and general student body that loyally support the Fightin’ Engineers.”

Before coming to Wabash, Tweedy was at Pomona-Pitzer Colleges, a combination of NCAA Division III institutions in Claremont, California. She was deputy Title IX coordinator, senior woman administrator, assistant athletic director for compliance, and student athlete services coordinator. Additionally, she led the department in policy implementation pertaining to student-athlete well-being and best practices to serve the LGBTQ+ community. She was a key planning member in game day management and special events, assisted compliance operations, and was assistant track and field coach at Bowie State University, a NCAA Division II and Historically Black Colleges and University in Bowie, Maryland.

Tweedy was a three-year women's track and field student-athlete at Bowie State, receiving numerous all-conference awards and serving two years as team captain. She was the 2012-13 recipient of the D2 ADA Academic Achievement Award, was selected president of the national student-athlete advisory committee for the Center Intercollegiate Athletic Association, and was the national representative to the NCAA Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

Tweedy earned a master’s degree in higher education and administration from Southern New Hampshire University after receiving a bachelor’s degree from Bowie State.

Rose-Hulman athletic teams captured 10 HCAC championships in the 2020-21 academic year, with three teams making appearances in the NCAA Division III championships last spring. The athletic department has earned the HCAC Commissioner's Cup, signifying the conference’s top overall athletic program, eight times in the past 14 years. The institute also ranks in the top 10 among all NCAA Division III colleges in the number of Academic All-Americans and has led the HCAC in academic all-league honorees for 14 consecutive years.
Meanwhile, Rose-Hulman's athletic facilities have hosted four NCAA Division III national championships along with numerous regional and conference championship events. Recent donor-funded upgrades to facilities include synthetic turf fields for football and soccer and significant additions to the baseball and track and field complexes.