UA athletics executive Julie Cromer hired as first female athletics director at Ohio University

by Jeff Della Rosa (JDellaRosa@nwabj.com) 565 views 

Julie Cromer, senior deputy athletics director for the University of Arkansas, has been named director of athletics for Ohio University.

The university announced Thursday (Aug. 15) Cromer will join the Bobcats on Aug. 31 as the university’s first female athletics director.

“We’re excited to welcome Julie to my leadership team at Ohio University,” president M. Duane Nellis said. “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 stood out from among four finalists who visited campus in early August because of her depth of athletics experience, including the daily administration of 19 varsity sports, leading strategic planning, assisting in fundraising for capital projects and serving as a liaison to campus governance groups and to the Southeastern Conference.

Along with her role as senior deputy athletics director at the UA, she also has served as associate vice chancellor and senior woman administrator for Razorback athletics. She’s also a member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the Board of Directors of Women Leaders in College Sports.

In November 2017, the UA appointed Cromer as the interim athletic director after the firing of Jeff Long. In July 2018, new UA athletic director Hunter Yurachek promoted Cromer to deputy athletic director for external engagement and administration, overseeing external units including communications, broadcast services, ticket sales, revenue generation, marketing and licensing. She’s also served as sport administrator of football and women’s golf.

She joined the UA in 2014 after spending four years at Indiana University as the executive associate athletics director and was one of the first women in the Big Ten to supervise all elements of a collegiate football program. She previously worked for 10 years at the NCAA national office as director of academic and membership affairs and worked to advance NCAA academic reform and other initiatives. She was named the 2015 Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators.

“I am humbled and honored to join a university that has been consistently competitive in the Mid-American Conference and that has a stellar reputation for integrity, inclusive excellence and ensuring student academic success,” Cromer said. “I look forward to joining the outstanding Ohio athletics student-athletes, coaches and staff as we engage with our campus to support our student-athletes in their academic pursuits while winning conference championships.”

Cromer, who grew up in a small community in southern Missouri, was named to the 2016 class of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s NWA Women in Business. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University and a master’s degree from Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs.

“With the naming of Julie Cromer as director of athletics, Ohio University is gaining one of the outstanding up and coming leaders in intercollegiate athletics,” Yurachek said. “Throughout her career as an administrator at the NCAA and at several prominent institutions around the country, Julie has been a respected voice within intercollegiate athletics. In working alongside Julie within our program it is clear to me that she shares the same focus and commitment to student-athlete success. I want to congratulate Ohio University on their selection, Julie and her husband Will are tremendous additions to Ohio University and the Athens’ community.”

Cromer will be introduced at Ohio University in a press conference at 10 a.m. Friday (Aug. 16) in the Perry and Sandy Sook Academic Center, on the north side of Peden Stadium in Athens.

“Julie is a great administrator, a great leader and will be great athletics director at Ohio University,” UA Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said. “She’s been an important asset to Razorback Athletics, and I appreciate her service as interim AD, which helped the program and the university immeasurably.”

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