Houghton College Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics H. “Skip” Lord is stepping down from his current position to assume a role in the college’s advancement office.
Houghton President Shirley Mullen made the announcement to the campus on Wednesday.
The transition, which will be effective June 1, will keep Lord involved in athletics, as he will be tasked with enhancing the college’s advancement efforts and engagement with alumni and friends who have an affinity for Highlander athletics.
“In this season of our life together as a college, it is essential that everyone be in the positions where their gifts can be most strategically effective,” said Mullen. “I asked Skip to assume this position because we recognize the critical importance of Highlander athletics to the future of the college and acknowledge the need to cultivate sustaining sources of investment to this program.”
“Skip has already shown himself to be a compelling representative for all that Houghton stands for, both in the alumni community and in the larger world of intercollegiate athletics,” she added. “Given Skip’s role in laying the foundation for our move to NCAA Division III, it is fitting that he would now be in a position to ensure that Highlander athletics reaches its potential for Houghton’s future.”
Lord will report to Karl Sisson, vice president for advancement and external relations.
Lord has served as an athletics coach and administrator for more than 30 years, including the last 26 as AD. He has overseen a department that has grown from 10 to 18 sports and serves more than 250 student athletes. He most recently provided oversight to the college’s transition into NCAA Division III and the Empire 8 Conference, and spearheaded a two-year multimillion dollar facilities project that included the Kerr-Pegula Field House and baseball and softball stadiums.
Lord also serves as second vice president for the Empire 8 Conference and has been involved at the NCAA national level, taking a leadership role in the NCAA Common Ground Think Tank.
During the college’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) membership, Lord was active in leadership roles on conference, regional and national levels, and was highly involved in the organization’s Champions of Character initiative. He served as a conference commissioner and was elected as chair of NAIA Region IX to represent the region’s 22 schools to the Council of Athletic Administrators at the national level.
In 2001 and 2008 Lord was named one of four winners in the NAIA Athletic Director of the Year Award, given by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. He was twice named NAIA Northeast Region Male Administrator of the Year, is a three-time conference administrator of the year, and was named 1999-2000 NAIA Region IX Athletics Director of the Year.
The college will conduct a national search for a new athletic director this spring.