May 31, 2023

Holly Roepke will return to Grinnell College with her appointment as Director of Athletics. She will also serve as Chair of the Department of Physical Education, Athletics, and Recreation (PEAR). Holly is currently Director of Athletics at California Lutheran University, where she also served as Senior Associate Director. She will begin work with Grinnell on July 1, 2023.

At Cal Lutheran, she supports the development of more than 580 student-athletes who compete on 23 varsity and six junior varsity teams in collaboration with more than 75 coaches and staff.  There, she has been instrumental in the partnership between the university and Angel City Football Club (ACFC). Cal Lutheran serves as the inaugural training site for the newest expansion team in the National Women's Soccer League.  She has also served on the university’s Core Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team, launched in 2021. 

“I am deeply excited for PEAR and Grinnell College that Holly will bring the wealth of her experience, leadership, and vision to her role as Director of Athletics. I have no doubt that sustaining and growing the College’s commitment to scholar athletes and our work in PE and recreation will thrive under Holly’s thoughtful and innovative leadership. I look forward to working with and learning from her in her new role,” said Dean Beronda Montgomery.

Roepke was previously the Senior Associate Athletic Director at Pomona-Pitzer and Assistant Athletic Director for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Grinnell College. During her previous time at Grinnell, she worked across the College on collaborations to support athletic, academic, and career success.  She collaborated with all functional areas of the department including recruiting, admissions, policy development, hiring practices, and department reviews. Her work reached across campus in the areas of student health and wellness, academic success, the Council on Diversity and Inclusion, and the President's initiative of Resiliency and Well-Being addressing opportunities and gaps that influence retention. She was also an advisor for Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and student athlete affinity groups.

“It is meaningful to me to return to Grinnell College where I gained professional growth, now with a more extensive skill set to lead the efforts to weave athletics and recreation deeper into the fabric of experiences at Grinnell College. I value social innovation through community-driven collaborative partnerships, built on practices of equity and inclusive excellence, with sustainable efforts focused on short-term solutions and long-term systemic norms,” says Roepke. “I want to thank President Anne Harris, Dr. Beronda Montgomery, and the search committee for their work throughout the search and for this opportunity to support holistic scholar-athlete success in an environment of high academic rigor. This starts with helping students identify and define success for themselves and involves clear access to the tools and support for engagement and development as writers of their voice and architects of their experience.”

Prior to Grinnell, Roepke served as Director of Media Relations for the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC). She coordinated conference programs and events, administered the league’s awards program and promoted student-athletes by leading the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), focusing on personal strengths and promoting careers in athletics. Additionally, she assisted the executive director in all areas of business operations as just the second full-time employee of the conference.

Roepke holds a master’s degree in Kinesiology and Sport Management from the University of South Dakota. Roepke graduated from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, Calif., with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. She was a standout athlete at the school and is a member of its Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Ventura County Sports Hall of Fame. 

Parker Executive Search assisted Grinnell College in identifying candidates for this position.