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Alumna named new director of athletics

Nan Carney-DeBord ’80 will take over as Denison’s director of athletics this summer.

University Provost Brad Bateman has announced that Nan Carney-DeBord, a 1980 Denison graduate and a member of the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame, will be the college’s next director of athletics, physical education and recreation. Carney-DeBord will begin her duties effective July 1, 2011, succeeding Larry Scheiderer, who will assume the role of director of athletics operations in July after 20 years as DU’s director of athletics. Carney-DeBord also will serve as the faculty chair of the college’s Department of Physical Education.

About Carney-DeBord, Bateman said, “We are thrilled that Nan, one of Denison’s own, is coming home to direct our athletics, physical education and recreation programs. Her wealth of experience and her proven record of fostering excellence in both academics and athletics make her uniquely suited for leading one of the premier NCAA Division III sports programs in the nation.”

Carney-DeBord returns to her alma mater after spending 25 years at Ohio Wesleyan University as head women’s basketball coach and on the faculty of the Department of Physical Education. Since the 1986-87 basketball season, Carney-DeBord has posted a career record of 433-227 while guiding the Bishops to six NCAA Division III Tournament berths and five North Coast Athletic Conference championships. A seven-time NCAC Coach of the Year, Carney-DeBord was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year following her team’s run to the national semifinals in the 2001 NCAA Division III Tournament.

In 2009, Carney-DeBord became only the 33rd coach in NCAA Division III history to reach the 400-win mark. In addition to her time as the head women’s basketball coach at Ohio Wesleyan, she spent six seasons (1985-1990) as the head field hockey coach at OWU where her teams posted a .714 winning percentage and began a streak of seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances that would eventually conclude in 1993. At Ohio Wesleyan, she also served as assistant athletics director from 1987 to 1993 and associate athletics director from 1993 through 2003.

Enthusiastic about beginning her new role at Denison, Carney-DeBord said, “My life’s work has prepared me for this wonderful opportunity. I am coming full circle from my undergraduate choice of institutions to this next chapter in my professional career. Denison’s affiliation with the North Coast Athletic Conference is of fundamental importance, as I believe the NCAC is the quintessential athletic conference in Division III. ” She added, “I welcome the challenge of continuing the athletic prominence that preceded me long before I was a student-athlete and has continued to the present time. I reach out to all former, current and future athletes, coaches, and staff with the challenge of embracing, maintaining, and continuing to advance Denison’s athletic excellence.”

Carney-DeBord returns to Denison where she was a four-year letter winner in basketball and field hockey. A wing and point guard in basketball, she was team captain and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player as a senior. As a back on the Denison field hockey squad, she was a three-year captain and helped lead the 1979 team to a 12-3-1 record. In 1998, she was inducted in the Varsity D Association Athletics Hall of Fame at Denison. In addition to her bachelor’s degree in physical education from Denison, Carney-DeBord earned a master’s of arts in athletics administration from Kent State University.

She will inherit a highly successful athletics program that features 23 varsity sports for men and women, as well as comprehensive club sport and intramural programs. Since the founding of the North Coast Athletic Conference in 1984, Denison has won the NCAC’s All-Sports Trophy a league-record 11 times. The All-Sports Trophy recognizes the school that achieves the best overall success across the conference’s 23 sponsored sports. In addition, Denison boasts 44 recipients of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, placing it third among the nation’s 447 Division III colleges and universities.

Carney-DeBord and her husband, Jack, a personal injury attorney, currently reside in Delaware, Ohio, and have two sons, Tyler and T.J.

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