DEFIANCE, Ohio – The Defiance College athletic program has a new leader. DC president Mark Gordon has announced the appointment of Rudy Yovich to the position of athletic director. He succeeds Jenni Morrison who left in July for a position at California University of Pennsylvania.
Yovich has been the director of athletics at Owens Community College in Toledo since 2011 and was assistant director of athletics at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne from 2003 to 2011.
We are very pleased to be able to have someone with Rudy's experience, knowledge, and energy join our DC family as athletic director,” said President Gordon. “Jenni Morrison did a great job in this position over the past four years, and I am confident Rudy will be able to build on that foundation and lead DC athletics to even greater success.”
While at Owens, Yovich led an athletic department in which student-athletes improved both academically and athletically. During the 2012-13 season, student-athletes qualified for a record four national championships with every program qualifying for a regional tournament. The school had five All-Americans, nine Academic All-Americans, and two All-American Academic Teams, first-ever in school history. The school finished that academic year ranked 23rd nationally out of 401 schools in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Learfield Director’s Cup standings, the school’s highest finish ever.
"I am very honored to join the Defiance College family as athletic director,” said Yovich. “I would like to thank President Gordon and Vice President Ken Wetstein for this outstanding opportunity. I would be remiss if I didn't also take a moment to thank Dr. Chris Giordano and my entire staff at Owens, as well as director of athletics at Western Illinois, Tommy Bell, and Mark Pope, the commissioner of the Sun Conference, for their support.
"In talking with the administration and athletic department staff at Defiance, I was impressed with their passion for student-athlete service. I look forward to building upon the amazing tradition of DC Athletics, while continuing to expand our involvement within the community."
Yovich’s experience clearly demonstrates his commitment to emphasizing the “student” portion of the term student-athlete. Upon his arrival at Owens, he implemented an action plan to increase departmental grade point average (GPA). This past academic year, more than 90 percent of second-year student-athletes graduated or transferred to four-year institutions.
While serving at the NCAA Division I Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, Yovich had direct administrative oversight of a portion of the department’s athletic programs as well as two student organizations.
He previously held media relations and marketing positions with the United Soccer Conference, Fort Wayne; Christian Brothers University, Memphis; and Erie Otters Hockey Club in Erie, Pa.
Yovich earned his bachelor’s degree at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in sports management from Columbia Southern University.
Defiance College, chartered in 1850, is an independent, liberal arts institution in Northwest Ohio offering nearly 40 undergraduate programs of study as well as graduate programs in education and business. Defiance College has received national recognition for its educational experience of service and engagement. Defiance is a member of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Association and NCAA Division III. The college offers 22 men’s and women’s intercollegiate sports. The college website is www.defiance.edu and the website for DC athletics isdefianceathletics.com.