Dalton State College will begin a new relationship with the second member of its relaunched athletic department.
Fortunately for the new hire, he and the athletic director, Derek Waugh, don’t need any time to get acquainted.
Richard Skeel has been hired as Dalton State’s senior associate athletic director and will begin July 1.
“Instead of going with the traditional model of hiring an administrative assistant, business manager and assistant athletic director for operations within the athletic department, I have decided to just hire one person with over 25 years of experience in all of those areas and more,” Waugh wrote in an email to The Daily Citizen. “We will be a two-person staff filling about five or six jobs to be efficient in the long run when you tie in revenue avenues and production.”
Skeel’s annual salary will be $79,000, Waugh said.
A Purdue graduate who received his master’s degree in education from Bowling Green, Skeel was the senior associate athletic director for 12 years at Stetson University in DeLand, Fla. Before being hired by Dalton State in late January, Waugh was the assistant athletic director at Stetson, where he had also been the men’s basketball coach for 11 seasons.
Skeel’s additional experience includes being athletic director at Buckley Preparatory School in Buckley Oaks, Calif., assistant athletic director and head baseball coach at Bethune-Cookman, head baseball coach at Cincinnati and assistant baseball coach at Louisville and Ohio’s Xavier.
“Derek and I will probably have to put on a couple different hats for a few years,” Skeel said in a phone interview Tuesday. “If they need me to get on the field and coach for a few years, then I will. ... I guess one of the things both Derek and I are passionate about is we want to do things right.”
With the addition of Skeel, who has already moved to the area, the Roadrunners now have two athletic officials with Division I experience. Waugh said the working relationship the two built at the Division I school should be a big plus at Dalton State, which plans to compete in the NAIA in a handful of sports starting in the 2013-14 school year.
“I have previously worked with Richard and know what he can bring to the table as we start back up intercollegiate athletics at Dalton State,” Waugh wrote. “While he will be my only administrative hire for quite a while, I am confident that he can fill numerous roles and will help us generate revenue through his vast experience in Division I athletic administration and marketing, and he will also help us run a first-class department and program that wins championships with a great caliber of student-athlete.”
Skeel has more than 520 collegiate wins in 25-plus years as a baseball coach. Waugh said Skeel could be the head baseball coach for Dalton State, but a decision one way or the other would not come for a few years.
“It just depends on how quick we can get baseball up and running,” Waugh said.
The position is one of two — along with men’s basketball coach, a hire that’s likely to happen next month — Waugh wanted to fill this summer to begin developing the department’s staff. Skeel will take some of the responsibilities away from Waugh so he can make more progress in building the department.
“With his hiring, he will more be an administrator,” Waugh said. “He’s just kind of helping me out. He will free me up to do the stuff I need to do.”
For Skeel, this is the first time he has been part of building an athletic department “from the ground floor up,” but he has been in rebuilding projects before.
“At several of the schools I’ve had to rebuild, remake and remold some of the things we did,” he said. “I’ve been in Florida for 20 years and was in a great position in Stetson. We had just added more sports, including football, and it felt good to get that done. We’ve built a new baseball and softball stadium. We’ve built new soccer fields. It felt good to do that stuff, but then I looked at it all and said, ‘This building is about to come to an end. I want one more crack at it.’”
And Skeel is looking forward to what’s ahead.
“No doubt in my mind, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I came up here,” he said. “(Derek and I) had talked about it before he left back in February. I came up with my wife in late March and were very impressed with the area. We saw the number of students and the potential for growth. This place is a gold mine waiting to happen. To say we’re excited is an oxymoron. You can’t say it loud enough or shout it loud enough.”
Waugh said the position was advertised on the Dalton State athletics website and in The Daily Citizen.
While he said he kept the interview process “pretty narrow,” he declined to provide specific numbers on how many people applied and were interviewed.