About the University of North Carolina Wilmington

The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW), formerly known as Wilmington College, was founded in 1947 by local leaders and citizens dedicated to providing higher educational opportunities to students in southeastern North Carolina, notably veterans returning home from World War II. As one of 17 institutions in the UNC System, joining in 1969, UNCW offers a powerful academic experience to stimulate creative inquiry and critical thinking and a community rich in diversity, inclusion and global perspectives. The public institution, with just under 18,000 students, 1,125 faculty and 1,463 staff, is recognized nationally as a military-friendly university and works closely with Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River to offer programs designed for military personnel and their families.

Located in the heart of “the Port City” and touted as one of the most attractive campuses in the South, UNCW is dedicated to the integration of teaching, mentoring, research and service. Offering an array of programs at the baccalaureate and master's levels and doctoral programs in strategic areas of importance to the region, UNCW has ranked among the nation’s top public national universities for the past three years by U.S. News & World Report. The university’s efforts to advance research and scholarly activities earned UNCW the elevated designation of “Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity” by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in 2018. The UNC Board of Governors approved UNCW’s latest Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in April 2022. Scheduled to launch in fall 2023 (pending final approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges), the program will build on the existing master’s program in chemistry, particularly the pharmaceutical chemistry concentration. UNCW’s doctoral program tally is now at six.

Over the past few years, UNCW has undertaken approximately $450 million in campus construction. In 2020, UNCW paid homage to its founding as a school for World War II veterans with the opening of Veterans Hall. The 145,000-square-foot facility houses the College of Health and Human Services and faculty and staff from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Office of Military Affairs. In February 2021, UNCW publicly launched Like No Other: The Campaign for UNCW. Thanks to the generosity of thousands of alumni, students, employees and donors, the university is moving ever closer to its goal to raise at least $100 million in philanthropic support for scholarships, professorships, programs and other university priorities. During the campaign, the university has received the largest private philanthropic gifts in UNCW history to date – a $10 million gift from David Congdon ’78, and his wife, Helen, and a $5 million corporate gift from Quality Chemical Laboratories, and its founder Dr. Yousry Sayed (a current member of the UNCW Board of Trustees) and his wife Linda, ’78, ’85M.  

About UNCW Athletics

Known as the Seahawks, UNCW sponsors 19 NCAA Division I sports programs and competes as a member of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). In the last decade, UNCW Athletics has experienced tremendous success both on and off the field of play to include 31 CAA championships, 32 team NCAA post-season appearances, and 37 individual NCAA championship appearances. The UNCW men’s basketball team was crowned the 2022 CBI Tournament Champions (the school's first postseason title in men's basketball). The men's tennis team captured the school's eighth conference title in the last 13 years by winning the 2022 CAA Men's Tennis Championships. The UNCW softball team was named the 2022 Colonial Athletic Association Champions. Former UNCW basketball standout Devontae Cacok '19 became the first Seahawk to be part of an NBA championship team in 2020 as a player for the Los Angeles Lakers. He now plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA. UNCW’s student-athletes have taken great pride in preparing themselves to become outstanding leaders in their chosen fields and in the community. The university’s 311 student-athletes in 2022 reached a cumulative 3.394 grade point average and 61 student-athletes achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Position Overview

Reporting to the Chancellor, the Director of Athletics must demonstrate integrity, vision, character and a passion for excellence. The Director of Athletics should lead in a manner that complements the mission and values of UNCW while developing and executing a strategic vision that achieves the expectations for Athletics and creates a strong and positive presence at the local, regional and national levels. The Director of Athletics must direct and manage the Department of Athletics with the highest level of integrity to maintain full compliance with Title IX and state and federal laws, as well as all university, conference and NCAA rules and regulations. Working with coaches, athletic administrators, student-athletes and university partners, the Director of Athletics must facilitate collaboration, effectiveness and efficiency in department operations, as well as maintain a prominent role for athletics in university life, including promoting academic success and overall welfare of the student-athlete. The Director of Athletics will pursue fundraising activities and alumni support, enlist community engagement and foster strategic partnerships. The Director of Athletics must honor the University’s commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop a clear vison for UNCW Athletics that complements the University’s strategic plan and mission.
  • Achieve increasing levels of competitive and academic success and public recognition for Seahawk Sports.
  • Work in coordination with the Vice Chancellor for Advancement, Chancellor, and other individuals to develop fundraising strategies with team goals, oversee a fundraising plan for Athletics to achieve annual goals, and lead the Seahawk Club.
  • Supervise all aspects of the Department of Athletics, including fiscal affairs, personnel, strategic planning, game and event management, scheduling, facilities, public relations, marketing and promotions, ticket sales, media rights, sponsorships, athletic fundraising and general operations.
  • Oversee the development and execution of short- and long-term goals that promote competitive achievement, inclusive participation, and operational excellence in all university intercollegiate sports.
  • Create and foster an environment that supports competitive success of the intercollegiate athletic teams and student athletes, ensure balance between the academic and athletic success of student-athletes, and provide a framework of support for the general welfare of student-athletes. Ability to uphold strong academic values and academic integrity.
  • Recruit, mentor, develop and lead a strong, ethical, talented, and diverse team of administrators and coaches.
  • Demonstrate integrity and character, with dedicated commitment to and knowledge of NCAA, CAA, and Title IX compliance standards.
  • Represent the University at the NCAA and CAA meetings.
  • Represent and promote the University and its Athletic program with distinction to the community and the media.
  • Provide leadership with Athletic fundraising by cultivating and promoting relationships with alumni and other potential donors to raise significant funds on behalf of Athletics and the University.
  • Develop a media relations and marketing plan for Athletics that furthers the vison and goals of the Department including revenue growth and identifying new sources of income for Athletics.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s degree preferred.
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in intercollegiate varsity level coaching and/or administering a Division I athletics program strongly preferred.
  • Must be able to effectively establish and maintain a cooperative working relationship with colleagues, coaches, staff, donors and alumni.
  • Collaborative management approach coupled with superior communication and relationship-building skills and strategic planning and budgeting competencies.
  •  Political and business acumen with the ability to navigate and manage the evolving landscape of collegiate athletics and the role it plays within higher education.
  • Experience in program development and assessment, including risk management, excellent problem-solving abilities, and a high degree of cultural competence demonstrating respect for the diversity of identities and experiences.
  • The highest level of personal and professional ethics, honesty, and integrity, including the commitment to abide by NCAA and CAA rules and regulations.
  • Proven ability to raise funds and support.
  • Proven ability to provide a strategic vision and demonstrated success in managing strategy to action.
  • The ability to exercise judgment, decision making and problem-solving skills.
  • Unwavering commitment to ethics and student-athletes’ academic success and well-being.
  • Excellent written, interpersonal, and oral communication skills.

Application Process

UNCW invites nominations and applications or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. 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 January 4, 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, Senior Associate

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

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is committed to and will provide equality of educational and employment opportunity for all persons regardless of race, gender, gender identity, sex (such as marital status or pregnancy), age, color, national origin (including ethnicity), religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, political affiliation, veteran status or relationship to other university constituents—except where a protected status represents a bona fide educational or occupational qualification or where marital status is a statutorily established eligibility criterion for state-funded employee benefit programs.

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.