After a nation-wide search, Hiram College and Vice President and Dean of Students Dr. Liz Okuma are excited to announce Todd W. Hibbs to fill the role of the school's Director of Athletics position.
Hibbs replaces former Director of Athletics, Ellen Dempsey, who will transition to a role within the college's development office at the conclusion of the academic year.
"We had a great group of candidates for this position," said Brad Goodner, Director of the School of Health & Medical Humanities and Biology Professor, chair of the search committee. "Todd had the right mix of strong experience with NCAA Division III athletics, success in administrative and fundraising positions, and a vision of how athletics melds with academics and overall campus wellness at a small college. He is ready to be a leader on our campus and I am really excited about our future."
A native of Ohio, Hibbs has strong ties to the area. Born in Steubenville and raised along the Ohio River in Richmond, Hibbs was a 1985 graduate of Jefferson High School before moving on to Mount Union College.
A high-caliber Division III athlete in his own right, Hibbs was a four-year standout for the wrestling program with the Purple Raiders. In his four years, the Raiders won three Ohio Athletic Conference Championships.
Hibbs himself was a two-time NCAA All-American, and also earned a National Wrestling Coaches' Association (NWCA) Scholar All-American award. He was inducted into Mount Union's Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005.
Following the completion of his Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and Human Performance from Michigan State University in 1992, Hibbs returned to Ohio and began a coaching career where he led various high school wrestling, track & field, and lacrosse programs.
Hibbs began his collegiate coaching career at Olivet College (Mich.) as the head wrestling coach in 2004. After co-authoring a multi-page proposal for the sport's reinstatement, Hibbs led the Comets on a meteoric rise, lifting the team to a 56-24-2 record between the 2005-09 seasons.
While with Olivet, Hibbs led the team to a top-three finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional in every season, which included winning the regional title in 2006, for which he was named the coach of the year.
Following his time with Olivet, Hibbs accepted the position of head coach at Alma College (Mich.) in 2011 as the Scots added wrestling as an intercollegiate sport. Upon his hiring, Hibbs immediately made an impact.
In five years on the mats, the accolades poured in for Alma Wrestling. Academically, Alma placed top five in the nation for team GPA three times. Athletically, the Scots registered a record of 51-29 and consistently appeared in the national rankings – peaking at #6 during the 2015-16 season. At the 2016 NCAAs, Alma crowned three individuals as All-Americans and finished 11th in NCAA team standings.
"With Ellen's move to the Development staff, it was critical that we find a leader that could build on the successes we have achieved during her tenure," Okuma said. "Todd is a leader who understands Division III Athletics, putting student-athletes first, and is committed to the development of coaches, staff and the department. I could not be more excited to work with Todd."
Not only has Hibbs proven himself as a gifted coach and leader, but also a valuable fundraiser as well.
In his time with Olivet College, Hibbs assisted efforts in raising funds for a new practice facility for the wrestling program within the college's new $5.5 million Cutler Event Center in 2008. He was then promoted to Director of Institutional Advancement in 2009 before accepting the Vice Presidents' role in 2010.
With the Scots, Hibbs was promoted to Associate Athletic Director and assisted in fundraising efforts for the construction of a new $4.5 million athletic facility.
A man of many talents, Hibbs has also contributed to higher education in many other facets. He served as a tenure-track assistant professor at Olivet College while also lecturing at NWCA conferences on ethics in sport.
Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in May of 2018, Hibbs not only served the sport as a coach, but as an announcer for more than 30 NCAA Championship events, including the Big Ten Championship.
A long-time devoted coach, administrator and educator, Hibbs will look to bring that same passion with him in his role as a Director of Athletics with Hiram College.
"I am eager to serve as the next humble leader of Hiram Athletics," commented Hibbs. "I want to thank Dr. Brad Goodner as chair, the entire search committee, and the Hiram community for a professional and welcoming process.
"In NCAA Division III athletics, I have been provided invaluable life lessons, celebratory memories, and deep friendships. I aim to support this same experience for all of Hiram's student-athletes and staff."