After serving as Rogers State’s Director of Athletics for nearly three years, Ryan Erwin announced Monday he will step down Aug. 12 to become the Vice President for Athletics and Director of Athletics at East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas.
RSU President Dr. Larry Rice praised Erwin’s accomplishments during his time at RSU, which included guiding the Hillcats through all three years of the NCAA Division II membership process. RSU was named as a full, active Division II member in July.
“Ryan brought a new spirit of creative leadership to campus that reinvigorated our athletics department and provided a steady hand through the NCAA Division II membership process,” Rice said. “Ryan helped bring fresh ideas to all of the university’s operations and we will miss his leadership campus-wide. We recognize this move is a good fit for Ryan and his family, and we wish them nothing but the best moving forward.”
Erwin said he was honored to have the opportunity to serve as Vice President of Athletics and Director of Athletics at ETBU.
“I look forward to joining ETBU, returning to the state of Texas, and working with the administration, faculty, coaches and student-athletes to further develop and expand the athletic department,” he said. “I am excited to increase our presence in the community, ensure academic excellence, fundraise to support Christ-centered athletics, and disciple student-athletes and coaches in a Christian environment. I am extremely thankful to ETBU President, Dr. Blair Blackburn, for this opportunity to serve alongside him once again and become a member of the ETBU campus community.”
Erwin thanked the members of the RSU family for their support.
“I am grateful to the staff and coaches I have worked with during the past three years, as our entire family thoroughly enjoyed our time at RSU. The future is bright for the Hillcats and we will always cherish our time in Claremore and as a part of the Hillcat Family,” he said. “I want to thank Dr. Rice and (RSU Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance) Mr. Tom Volturo for the opportunity to serve at RSU and their continued support. RSU will always hold a special place in our family’s heart and I know that RSU is poised for success in the years to come.”
Since joining the RSU athletic department in September 2013, Erwin helped secure a licensing agreement that protects the university’s logo and brand, as well as launched an online store (www.HillcatGear.com). He served a numerous campus committees, as well as serving leadership roles for local, regional and national organizations.
Erwin has been active throughout the RSU campus, including serving on several search committees, the Budget Advisory Committee, the University Strategic Planning committee, the NCAA Division II Mentoring Program, and the NCAA Division II Athletics Directors Association Board of Directors. Erwin also has been a fixture in the Heartland Conference serving as the chair of the Athletic Directors and spearheaded the league’s updated strategic plan. In the community, he served on the Children’s Advocacy Center Board of Directors and the Rogers County Public Trust.
Rice noted that Hillcat student-athletes excelled in the classroom during Erwin’s tenure. This past year, 53 student-athletes earned degrees, including two in RSU’s first MBA graduating class and an Academic All-American. The nearly 250 student-athletes in 12 intercollegiate sports combined for a 3.13 cumulative grade point average for the year and 119 athletes achieved a 3.0 GPA or better with 29 attaining a perfect 4.0.
Erwin also helped strengthen the university’s position in northeastern Oklahoma through an unwavering emphasis on student-athletes and coaches being extensively involved in community service, including having a Hillcat student-athlete in every Claremore elementary school every week last year.
RSU student-athletes last year spent more than 5,000 hours volunteering in the local community by working with 46 different schools, organizations and businesses. The department partnered with 17 different schools throughout the region and hosted nine free sports clinics.
Rice said the university will conduct a national search to find an athletic director as RSU moves into its first year as an NCAA Division II member. A search committee is being formed to evaluate qualified candidates as soon as possible.
For more information on RSU Athletics, visit www.rsuhillcats.com.