April 10, 2012
Westerville, OH— Dawn Stewart, a 1998 graduate of Otterbein University, was named director of athletics, announced Vice President and Dean for Student Affairs Robert Gatti, who chaired the 11-member selection committee. The committee conducted a national search that netted over 100 applicants vying for the position.
Stewart, 35, comes to Otterbein from Capital University where she has served as athletic director since June 2008. She will assume her new position May 7, replacing Dick Reynolds, who retired in March after 43 years of service to the university.
“We are delighted to have as our next athletic director a professional administrator with Dawn Stewart’s background,” Gatti said. “She is a tireless worker with the vision to lead Otterbein athletics to the next level.
“Dawn’s credentials speak for themselves,” Gatti continued. “In all her prior positions, Dawn has been highly successful as she has progressively taken on more responsibilities. Dawn’s competitive spirit, while understanding the importance of the student experience, was evident throughout the interview process. I am so pleased Dawn is coming home.”
Stewart brings 18 years of experience within intercollegiate athletics at the NCAA Division I and III levels as an athletics administrator and former student-athlete.
“As a coach or administrator you naturally wonder what it might be like to return to your alma mater,” Stewart said. “Otterbein has always held a special place in my heart. It was a place that provided me with a successful athletic experience and strong professional foundation. I am excited to return to Otterbein and give back to a place that has given me so much.”
Stewart began her professional career at Otterbein in 1998, serving as recruiting coordinator and assistant women’s tennis coach before moving on to the University of Dayton in 2000. At Dayton, Stewart worked from the ground up, first serving as director of ticketing services before being promoted to assistant director of athletics for business and communications in 2002. In 2007, she was named senior woman administrator, and in addition to continuing to manage a $17 million budget and athletics communication, was placed in charge of the office of athletics academic affairs.
Stewart became athletic director at Capital in 2008 where she managed 18 varsity sports and 50 full- and part-time coaches and administrative personnel.
“I have been blessed with wonderful career opportunities at both the Division I and III levels,” Stewart said. “Each of these opportunities has provided similar perspectives in that the student-athlete experience should come first. No matter the division or the amount of resources an athletics program might have, the student-athletes should always remain the primary focus.”
Stewart received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Otterbein in 1998. She holds a master’s degree in sport management from The Ohio State University and is working on her doctorate in sport management at Ohio State.
She is married to Steve Stewart, a 1998 graduate of Otterbein. They live in Westerville. Stewart is a native of New Philadelphia, Ohio.