Dr. Matthew Webb, associate director of athletics and men’s soccer coach at Houghton College, has been appointed director of athletics after a national search. His appointment is effective June 1.
Reporting to Vice President for Student Life Dr. Robert Pool, Webb will provide strategic leadership for athletics and intramural sports for the Houghton College community. He will oversee the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, which sponsors 18 sports and competes as a member of the Empire 8 Conference in NCAA Division III.
“Dr. Matthew Webb, as our first new athletic director in almost 25 years, brings to the work of intercollegiate athletic leadership at Houghton the benefits of his doctoral work in organizational leadership, his longtime leadership role in intercollegiate soccer, as well as his deep understanding of Houghton’s mission and identity,” said Houghton College President Shirley A. Mullen. “At a time when athletics is increasingly important to our society and our world, Houghton has been entrusted with an abundance of riches in the form of our athletics tradition, our coaches, our athletes, and our facilities. Dr. Webb is ideally suited to steward these gifts at Houghton for the sake of our own community and the world around.”
Webb has served the department as a coach and administrator since 1993. He initially was an assistant with the women’s soccer program (1993-96) before transitioning to an assistant role with the men’s program in 1997. He was hired as the men’s soccer head coach in 2004 and continued in that role through this spring.
During his 14 years as head coach, he led the Highlanders to a record of 123-109-33 and 11 postseason appearances. His 2016 team finished 11-7-4 and was the first Houghton program to advance to an Empire 8 Championship game. That team also played in the NCCAA National Tournament, and Webb was named NCCAA Midwest Region Coach of the Year. This spring, Webb served as interim coach of the men’s and women’s tennis program, leading the men to the E8 championship match and earning E8 Men’s Tennis Coach of the Year honors following the season.
Webb added department administrative duties in 2004, first serving as assistant athletic director, and then transitioning to associate director of athletics for internal operations in 2014. In those roles he has been a member of the department’s leadership team and has had direct oversight of facilities maintenance, practice and game scheduling, intramurals programming, student-athlete discipline proceedings, and leading department meetings.
“I first want to thank President Mullen and Dr. Pool for the opportunity to lead the athletic department. I am looking forward to the challenge of this new task, and firmly believe that we can take the next step forward in Houghton College athletics,” said Webb. “I have thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the last 25 years that I have been able to work with both the men’s and women’s soccer programs at Houghton. I have had excellent role models in my coaching career as I had the opportunity as an assistant for both Coach David Lewis and Coach Dwight Hornibrook with the women’s and men’s teams, respectively. Coaching the young men and women I have worked with at Houghton has been such a privilege. As I move into this new position, I am looking forward to the new challenges and excitement it presents.I am excited to work more directly with our coaches as we forge ahead in the work we do with our student-athletes.”
Additionally, Webb has gained additional administrative experience as co-director of the Houghton summer soccer camps program and has led his teams on five international sports ministry trips. He has also served nationally for men’s soccer as the NCCAA East Region Chair, NCCAA National Chair, Empire 8 Chair and as American Mideast Conference Chair during Houghton’s NAIA affiliation.
Prior to moving into athletics full time, Webb served as the associate dean of students and director of student programs and as a resident director.
Webb holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel College, a master’s in higher education from Alfred University, and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Regent University.
Webb becomes the sixth director in Houghton’s 51 years of intercollegiate athletics. He replaces H. “Skip” Lord, who is transitioning to a position in the college’s advancement office after leading the department for the past 24 years. Dr. George Wells, Robert Rhoades, Dick Alderman and Douglas Burke have also led the department.