Dr. Camden Wood Selig, who has served as WKU's Director of Athletics since August of 1999, will be leaving the Hill to assume the position of Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.
Selig's 10+ year tenure at WKU has marked a period of unprecedented athletic success for the university's athletic teams and student-athletes. WKU has won an astounding 66 Sun Belt Conference championships during this period, 26 more than the next closest Sun Belt School, while 85% of WKU student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility have graduated. Selig also has spearheaded over $100 million in new construction and renovations to WKU's athletic facilities this decade.
"This is an outstanding opportunity for my family, and I look forward to joining ODU in the months ahead as the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics," Selig said. "ODU has a storied tradition of championships, having won 32 national championships, team or individual, since 1975. The opportunity to work at such an outstanding academic institution in an area of the country where our family has deep roots is a blessing. WKU, however, has been a truly special place for me and my family the last 10 1/2 years, and we have enjoyed every day as a member of this university and community. I have enjoyed a tremendous staff assisting me every step of the way, and I am very proud of how much we have accomplished and how much this athletic department has grown. President Ransdell has been a mentor, trusted advisor and friend, and we would not have been able to accomplish anything of this magnitude without his strong support. The Board of Regents consistently has shared our vision for national prominence and played a vital role in our success.
"There are no coaches and student-athletes in this country more dedicated and committed to their sports and more giving of a Championship Effort than the coaches and student-athletes at WKU. The fabric of WKU is woven with uniquely talented people, and my family and I will always treasure the wonderful experiences and friendships we have developed in Bowling Green and throughout the state of Kentucky. We trust we are leaving WKU in a better position than when we arrived in 1999."
"The day we hired Wood Selig, I knew our athletic program was on the right track to having the energy, stability and success that it needed," said WKU President Dr. Gary Ransdell. "I don't know that there is an athletic department anywhere that has achieved the type of success within our conference and our sphere that this program has under Wood's leadership. This has not been a job for Wood. It has been a passion and an absolute commitment -both personal and professional - to this university. There's no question in my mind that Wood and his family will always be very close to Western Kentucky University."
Old Dominion, with an athletic budget in excess of $25 million, has 114 employees in the athletic department and 18 men's and women's NCAA Division I programs currently competing in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Monarchs have won 28 team national championships since 1975 in addition to four individual national titles and have 30 alumni who have competed in the Olympics. With an enrollment of 23,833 students, the university offers 70 bachelor's, 60 master's and 36 doctoral degree programs. ODU, which fielded a football program from 1930-41, participated in football again in 2009 in the Football Championship Subdivision (I-AA) going 9-2 and will compete in the CAA beginning in 2011. ODU's average football attendance of over 20,000 ranked in the top five nationally for FCS programs. The CAA also has a men's basketball league RPI of 12 with four teams (Old Dominion, William & Mary, Northeastern, Virginia Commonwealth) ranked in the nation's top 75. The CAA has membership in six of the nation's top 25 media markets and in its 25-year history has produced 49 team and individual national championships, 12 national players of the year, 12 national coaches of the year and five Rhodes Scholars.
With a Sun Belt Conference record 10 team championships in 2007-08 and nine more in 2008-09, WKU's 19 combined titles over the previous two years are more than any NCAA school in the nation during this period. WKU has also had more individuals honored for their academic achievements by the Sun Belt Conference than any other league institution in each of the last five years, and every men's and women's athletic team currently exceeds the NCAA required 925 Academic Progress Report Rate (APR). Other WKU academic highlights include:
- For all 412 WKU student-athletes, the overall cumulative average GPA is 2.93 and 213 student-athletes (52 %) are maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- Nine of the university's 19 athletic teams have a cumulative team GPA of 3.0 or better and 17 athletic teams have a cumulative team GPA of 2.8 or higher.
- WKU student-athletes in the university's 19 sports are majoring in 76 different programs.
Since Selig's arrival at WKU, the Hilltoppers have been a mainstay atop the Vic Bubas Cup standings, which ranks all conference schools based on their finish in each of the league's 19 sponsored sports. WKU has claimed four titles (2002, 2003, 2006, 2008) while finishing no worse than second over the last eight years. Hilltopper and Lady Topper teams have also been regular participants in NCAA postseason action since Selig's arrival from the University of Virginia. Six programs have combined to make 21 NCAA Tournament appearances in team sports, and the football team claimed the 2002 NCAA Division I-AA championship, WKU's only national title in any team sport.
Selig was one of the key figures on campus to help garner the support to move the football program from the NCAA Division I-AA level to I-A, which the school's Board of Regents voted in favor of on Nov. 2, 2006. Following a two-year transition period that began in the fall of 2007, the Hilltoppers are now the newest of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision members.
Selig has also spearheaded over $100 million in new construction and renovations to WKU's athletic facilities during his tenure including:
- Over $50 million toward the renovation and expansion of Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium including a $1.5 million video replay scoreboard, a new playing surface, an 823-seat Topper Club level, and expanded seating capacity to nearly 25,000;
- A $33 million renovation to E.A. Diddle Arena that was completed in 2003;
- $3 million in baseball stadium renovations including a $1 million clubhouse that opened this week;
- $2.5 million toward Phase I of a new track and field complex that was completed in the spring of 2008.
- Opening the Student-Athlete Success Center in January of 2009, a 10,000 square foot complex featuring computer labs and breakout rooms for WKU student-athletes to study, work on school projects, and receive tutorial assistance and academic advising.
After inheriting an athletic program that incurred a deficit in the fiscal year prior to his arrival (1998-99), Selig's leadership helped grow the annual athletics department budget from $5.6 million in 1999-2000 to over $18.5 million in 2009-10. He has also spearheaded fund-raising endeavors that have secured a $5 million Houchens Industries naming rights gift, eight endowed scholarships for women's basketball and four consecutive years of over $1 million in annual Hilltopper Athletic Foundation giving. The HAF has built a total endowment of $3.5 million.
Selig was appointed to a five-year term on the prestigious NCAA Women's Basketball Committee in November 2006, and his influence helped WKU and E.A. Diddle Arena serve as a host site for the first and second rounds of the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament. He also helped WKU partner with The Club at Olde Stone to serve as one of six regional host sites for the 2009 NCAA Men's Golf Championships. Additionally, Selig has served as the chair of both the Sun Belt Conference Athletic Directors and Men's Basketball committees in his time on the Hill. Selig was honored at the Citizenship Through Sports Alliance Awards Dinner in St. Louis in June 2005 for his role in instituting a full-team, pregame handshake before every Gateway Conference football match-up, making the league the first in the NCAA to implement a pregame show of sportsmanship.
Selig worked previously at the University of Virginia for 11 years, serving the last five as Associate Athletics Director for External Operations. Prior to his tenure at Virginia, Selig worked three years at Virginia Commonwealth University as Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Ticket Operations. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Washington & Lee University (1983), a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University (1987), and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Virginia (1999) with minors in statistics and business. He and his wife, Ellen, have three children, Lex (12), Nick (10) and Julianna (5).