MT. PLEASANT — Iowa Wesleyan Athletic Director (AD) Derek Zander is moving up the ladder. Zander, who has served as AD since 2017 will be taking on a new roll as Vice President of Advancement and Athletics, effective June 1.
The University made the announcement last week. IW President Chris Plunkett says Zander has proven in the last few years that he was the right man for the job.
“Derek has been a tremendous asset to the University, and particularly he has demonstrated effective leadership as Director of Athletics,” Plunkett says. “In the last couple of years, he expanded his involvement in Advancement, taking on the Athletic Department efforts. This past fall, he was appointed to the University Cabinet to ensure athletics, which represents over 65 percent of our traditional student enrollment, had a voice in the overall decision-making for the university.”
Zander, an IW Alum and former head Tiger baseball coach, has been hard at work since he took over as AD three years ago. The IW Athletic Department has added three sports since he has taken over; men and women’s cross-country, men and women’s track and field, and men and women’s wrestling, which will compete in its first meets this winter.
“Derek has proved his abilities to develop and advance strategic initiatives that have led to growth within Athletics and the University,” President Plunkett says. “He has also secured and stewarded significant gifts from our donors.”
With the move, Zander will relinquish a few of his roles as Athletic Director. Courtney Carl, who has been serving as the Sports Information Director, will move up to Associate Athletic Director.
“In this role, Courtney will continue with her marketing and communications responsibilities, while adding NCAA compliance oversight and program oversight,” President Plunkett says.
With the combining of Advancement and Athletics under a single Vice President, Mike Heaton has moved on and will no longer be with the University after May 31. The University says it is grateful for his important work over the past two years, to strengthen their Advancement team and develop new fundraising and program initiatives.