Typically, athletic directors at colleges and universities are behind-the-scenes people, allowing the fame and glory for their school’s sports prowess to go to their players and coaches. In this way, Denison’s Director of Athletics Larry Scheiderer is typical. He’s been a behind-the-scenes guy since taking the reins of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation in 1991. What isn’t so typical, however, is the remarkable record of success that the varsity sports programs at Denison have posted over the last two decades under Scheiderer’s guidance.
In that time, Denison has won 11 of its record league-record 12 North Coast Athletic Conference All-Sports Championships, and finished in the top-three of the NCAC All-Sports standings for 14 consecutive years. Under Scheiderer’s direction, DU has captured 86 conference team championships and two NCAA national team championships. In addition, scores Big Red athletes have earned NCAC Player of the Year honors, and numerous coaches have been similarly tapped with NCAC Coach of the Year accolades.
But throughout Scheiderer’s tenure, Big Red athletes have starred in more than just sports. Over the last 20 years, Denison students have earned a number of prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarships and been selected as Academic All-Americans. Several varsity teams have been honored by national coaches’ associations for their academic accomplishments, as well, and each year, Denison athletes have been well represented among the winners of President’s Medal, the highest student award conferred by the college.
So it should come as no surprise that this year Dr. Scheiderer was brought from behind the scenes out to center stage by his colleagues to accept the highest honor that the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics can bestow on one of its own: 2011 Athletic Director of the Year. NACDA, who presents four regionally based awards in Division III annually, had already tapped Scheiderer for the same honor once before, back in 2006. Scheiderer picked up his hardware during an awards ceremony at the annual NACDA convention held last month in Orlando, Fla.
And now, after those 20 years of unprecedented success in the college’s athletic department, Scheiderer is taking on a new challenge this month as he begins working with Denison’s vice president of finance and management. With the building of a $38.5 million addition to Denison’s already expansive sports and recreation facilities under way, Scheiderer will be overseeing daily operations and construction as director of athletic operations.