About Grinnell College

Founded in 1846 in the Iowa Territory of the United States, Grinnell College, a private, coed institution, has set forth on a mission to educate its students, also known as Grinnellians, “for the different professions and for the honorable discharge of the duties of life.” Under the leadership of the College’s 14th President, Dr. Anne F. Harris, Grinnell College has been able to uphold this mission as they have prevailed as one of the top liberal arts institutions in the nation. The beautiful Grinnell campus spans over 190 total acres and is located between Des Moines and Iowa City on the ancestral lands of the Meskwaki, Sauk, and Ioway Peoples. The campus is home to over 100 buildings from Collegiate Gothic to Bauhaus, over 1 million books and documents inside of Burling Library, a 365-acre off campus Conard Environment Research Area (CERA), and 10 distinct ecosystems observed at CERA.

Grinnell College is home to approximately 1,700 students who come from diverse backgrounds and are all committed to contributing to the common good. 19% of Grinnell’s student body identifies as international and 24% identify as people of color. The college offers an intimate learning experience boasting a 9:1 student-faculty ratio with most classes having fewer than 20 students. Grinnellians have the opportunity to enroll in over 500 courses every year with degree options in 28 major fields and 19 concentrations. Post-graduation, the academic achievements of Grinnellians does not stop as 51% hold an advanced degree within ten years of graduation. Grinnell College graduates have also accepted positions within a wide variety of organizations: 3M, JPMorgan Chase & CO., Department of Justice, Twitter and many more. 

About Grinnell College Athletics

Grinnell College competes in 20 varsity sports at the NCAA Division III level, as well as possesses a strong commitment to their 16 intramural and club sports. Grinnell is host to five athletic facilities: the Charles Benson Bear Center, Darren Young ’93 Track and Field Complex, Rosenbloom Field, Pioneer Park, and Springer Field. Athletes that wear the Honor G on their uniform are not just telling everyone that they are a Grinnell College athlete, but an athlete that competes with integrity and intensity, leads, and approaches the future equipped with the confidence and skills to make it better.

The Athletics Department, faculty, staff, and local residents are all committed to supporting the Grinnell student-athletes and members of club and intramural sports. The goal is to not only increase the athletic experience for Grinnellians, but to use sports and recreation as a vehicle for integrating the academic and co-curricular experiences of students. This is executed by making coaches faculty members and making sure that athletic teams have faculty liaisons. Approximately one-third of the student body competes in at least one varsity sport, and another third participates in one or more intramural sports.

Position Overview

The Grinnell College Director of Athletics and Recreation oversees operations of the College's NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program as well as intramural, outdoor and physical recreation programs, all equally remarkable in steering the physical health and well-being of campus, and open to the broader campus community. Seeing every student's potential as a scholar and an athlete, the Director has a strong commitment to promote and provide inclusive access to these programs, understanding that a state of physical well-being contributes to success on all levels of academic community. The Director of Athletics is appointed with faculty rank, reports to the Dean of the College, and may teach courses in the Physical Education department. Being able to communicate and collaborate effectively across all areas of the College, the Director also serves as a representative of the College's mission to appropriate external constituencies.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Oversee operations of 20 varsity sports, intramural program, outdoor and physical recreation programs, and fitness center.
  • Form and execute a strategic plan, in alignment with the College’s overall strategic plan, for the Athletics Department to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism, integration of athletics and academic programs, harm reduction, bystander training, Title IX compliance, gender equality, campus and athletic team culture.
  • Support and promote the College’s commitment to the full intellectual growth, personal development, health, and wellbeing of student athletes and all Grinnell students.
  • Demonstrate core competencies in the areas of leadership and vision, strategic planning, and effective and efficient management of an Athletics Department, including oversight and preparation of annual budget proposals and participation in assessment activities as directed by the Dean of the College. 
  • Establish strong working relationships with the faculty and College Programs staff to promote academic success, student-athlete well-being, and career preparation
  • Recruit, retain, develop and mentor talented coaches, faculty, and other Athletics Department staff, and cultivate an environment of professional development and continuous improvement for outstanding staff, faculty, and senior level staff.
  • Manage all budget operations and decision making of all varsity sports, Physical Education department, recreation programs, and external gift funds.
  • Lead initiatives in student recruitment of each entering class that will be equal to or greater than 30%
  • Effectively collaborate with campus offices including Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Communications, Enrollments, Development and Alumni Relations, Conference Operations, and Facilities Management.
  • Maintain proficient working knowledge and ability to comply with all College, Midwest Conference and NCAA rules and regulations, especially those governing Division III, as well as those of other athletic groups to which the College belongs.
  • Formulate plans, policies and procedures that assure compliance with College policy, and provides direction in such matters as risk and financial management, in addition to ensuring the Athletics Department and varsity athletes are compliant with Grinnell’s policies, procedures, and code of conduct and with state and federal laws and Title IX regulations.
  • Effectively and efficiently communicate and disseminate pertinent information on relevant topics at the College, Conference and NCAA levels.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • A thorough knowledge of athletic administration at the collegiate level and a demonstrated record of successful athletic administrative experience or equivalent management experience.
  • Commitment to excellence in academics and athletics.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop an athletics vision and strategy that supports the College’s overall mission and strategic plan.               
  • Demonstrated track record of success in designing and implementing diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging initiatives within an intercollegiate athletics context.                              
  • Effective interpersonal and communication skills with both internal and external constituencies. 
  • Demonstrated ability to promote the intercollegiate athletic program throughout the College community through successful fundraising, creation of external partnerships, fiscal management, and sport supervision.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and understanding of NCAA rules and operations, with the ability to work with admissions and coaches in the appropriate recruitment of student-athletes.

Application Process

Grinnell College invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the College. Applications must include a cover letter, resume or curriculum vitae, and list of references. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted to Parker Executive Search’s website by March 27th, 2023. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made.

For additional information, please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director

DeLaina Jordan, Principal

Xavier Harper, Executive Recruiting Coordinator

danielparker@parkersearch.com | djordan@parkersearch.com | xharper@parkersearch.com 

Parker Executive Search

770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 119 | 770-804-1996 ext. 123

Grinnell College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and providing equal opportunities and access to all individuals regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin or ancestry, age, marital status, disability, or veteran status. Women, non-binary and transgender individuals, people of color, Indigenous people, and those with other or multiple historically marginalized and/or underrepresented identities are especially encouraged to apply. Grinnell College and our consortial partners are located on Meskwaki and Sauk lands.

Submit Application

* Indicates required field


Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.


Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.


Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.

Supplemental Materials

Files must be less than 8 MB.
Allowed file types: gif jpg jpeg png pdf doc docx ppt pptx xls xlsx.

Please click the submit button only once.