JCSU selects new Director of Athletics

Dr. Valerie Kinlonch has announce that Dr. Denisha Hendricks is returning to Johnson C. Smith University as the new Director of Athletics (AD) and as Visiting Associate Professor of Sport Management (non-tenure-track). Her appointment is effective May 1, 2024.

Dr. Hendricks will be responsible for various initiatives including, among others, the following:
Planning, administering, and directing intercollegiate athletic activities for the University’s NCAA DII athletics program

  • Developing, managing, coordinating, and supervising our intercollegiate athletics program
  • Assuring that all programs, coaches, staff, and student-athletes comply with the policies, rules, and regulations of the University, the NCAA, and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA)
  • Overseeing the athletic department budget and fundraising for the athletics program
  • Strengthening a culture of inclusivity, collaboration, and care across all of athletics
  • Serving as an active member on the University President’s Executive Cabinet 

With more than 20 years of experience in athletics and academic administration, Dr. Hendricks currently serves as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Selma (AL). There, she supervises more than 28 staff, oversees recreation programs as well as parks and sport facilities, secures external funding, and executes the department’s first strategic plan (which she initiated). Before taking a leadership role with the City of Selma, she served at Keene State University as Special Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, Interim Title IX Coordinator (at the request of the President), and Interim Director of Athletics. She has also served as Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics at Chicago State University; Director of Athletics and Assistant Professor at Kentucky State University-Frankfort; and Dean of Students, Senior Woman Administrator, and Assistant Professor at Livingstone College.

When she was at Johnson C. Smith University, she served in many capacities: Assistant Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator, Assistant Professor, and Interim Department Chair.

Dr. Hendricks has taught courses in sport management, sport sociology and ethics, sport law, psychosocial aspects of sport, and, among others, foundations of physical education and sport. She has chaired a dissertation on “upward mobility in Southeastern Appalachia,” presented at conferences, published articles, received awards, and contributed service on many local and national boards. As a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, Dr. Hendricks is the International Chair of the Board of Directors and has actively served on the International Zeta Organizational Steering Committee.

I am thrilled that Dr. Hendricks has accepted the invitation to lead our Department of Athletics during this “New Era of Excellence” at JCSU. Also, I am thankful for our AD Search Committee for leading such a successful search.

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