A familiar face, Matt Roan, is returning to Eastern Kentucky University as the next Director of Athletics according to a press release on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Roan was announced as the Director of Athletics after a two month search following the resignation of Stephen Lochmueller in October.
Roan returns to EKU after more than three years as Director of Athletics at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, La.
In a press release on Tuesday, Roan said, “Eastern Kentucky University and the region it serves are special places for my family and me, and we are honored to be returning. We look forward to embracing EKU’s tradition and leading EKU Athletics to new heights, where we display excellence academically, in athletics, and in the community,” Roan said. “We will forever be grateful for our time at Nicholls and in that community. It is a special place full of special people, and we are indebted to them for all of their support.”
While at Nicholls State, student athletes set school records for GPA the last three academic years. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams, as well as the football and softball teams have either won conference championships or reached the postseason under Roan’s leadership, with the women’s team making it to the first round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history in 2018. The football team also showed improvement hosting playoff games three years in a row.
Roan was a deputy director of athletics at EKU in 2015 and 2016, after serving as a special assistant to the president and working with the counsel’s office for two years.
“This is an extremely important hire for EKU, and our Director of Athletics search committee, which was composed of faculty, staff and alumni who spent countless hours reviewing materials from more than 70 candidates,” said Laura Babbage, EKU regent and search committee member, in a press release. “We were pleased to have many qualified candidates, and Matt Roan stood out. I am confident Matt will be committed to partnering with our faculty, staff, students, student athletes and community as a steward of our athletics program. He will strive to win on the field and the court while continuing to push for improved academic success for student athletes.”
Roan will step into his new role in early February. Since October 2019, Mark Sandy has been serving as the interim Director of Athletics.
He will be introduced at a welcome reception open to the public at the EKU Center for the Arts at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15.