Diles returns to home state of Michigan, named new director of athletics at Lake Superior State


Lake Superior State announced Friday that the university has selected veteran collegiate athletics executive and Michigan native David Diles as its new director of athletics after conducting a national search.

He succeeds Dr. David Paitson, who earlier resigned after four years to accept an assistant professor of sport management position at University of Indianapolis.

A four-time NCAA athletic director over the past 26 years, Diles comes to LSSU from the Virginia Military Institute, a Division I institution with 18 varsity sports.

“My wife, Suzanne, and I are thrilled to be returning to our home state and to be joining an institution that we believe in and a leadership team that made a profoundly positive impression. Both of our adult children, Matthew and daughter-in-law Heather, and Mitchell will be frequent visitors to Sault Ste. Marie,” said Diles in a statement. “President Dr. Rodney S. Hanley and Provost Dr. Lynn G. Gillette as chair of the search committee provided a clear and compelling vision of the vital role intercollegiate athletics can play in the advancement of the university. In addition, my familiarity with the GLIAC and the CCHA will allow for a quick transition.

“I’m honored to accept this appointment and looking forward to working with the department’s coaches, staff, and, most importantly, the student-athletes.”

Other career credits include director of athletics and chair of the physical education department at Case Western Reserve University (2005-13), athletic director at Eastern Michigan University (1999-2005), and VP/director of athletics at St. Bonaventure (1995-99).

Earlier jobs included assistant director of athletics at Auburn University (1991-94) and Central Michigan University (1989-91). He also served as director of athletics at Dexter Community Schools (1987-89). Diles was an assistant director of public relations for the NFL’s New York Jets in 1984.

An author of numerous articles in professional journals and member of numerous conference and NCAA committees, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master of sports administration from Ohio University and a doctorate of education from UMichigan.

“David Diles was easily our top candidate for many reasons,” said Hanley. “He is a highly experienced administrator with more than 25 years of work as a NCAA director of athletics and comprehensive leadership in institutional, conference, and national governance work in athletics. And he has considerable experience in growing programs, supervising capital projects, and fundraising. The list of his accomplishments is very lengthy, but perhaps the thing we were most impressed with is his record of ethical leadership at the various places he has served.”

Diles begins at LSSU on Aug. 2, 2021, and will oversee 11 Division II teams in the GLIAC and a Division I men’s hockey team in the CCHA.


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