NEW ORLEANS - Rick Dickson, Tulane University’s longtime director of athletics, has announced that he will retire in May 2016.
Dickson has served as the Green Wave’s AD since 2000, guiding the athletics program through some of the most tumultuous periods in its history, including the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, which nearly destroyed the university’s athletics facilities.
“Rick has the devotion, respect and love of the Tulane University community,” Tulane President Mike Fitts said. “Among his many achievements is bringing Green Wave athletics back from the evacuation of 300 student-athletes and the subsequent shutdown of several programs in 2005, to a full complement of 16 teams in 2007. Rick has been a tremendous resource to me as a new president and has helped me understand the complex issues surrounding intercollegiate athletics. I will miss him.”
Dickson leaves an athletics program that in the last few years has joined the American Athletic Conference, opened Yulman Stadium and built or renovated numerous other facilities, including Greer Field at Turchin Stadium, Avron B. Fogelman Arena at Devlin Fieldhouse and the Hertz Center.
Under Dickson’s watch, Tulane teams won 41 C-USA titles and advanced to NCAA postseason play 36 times. This includes two bowl games (2002, 2013), the 2001 and 2005 College World Series and the 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014 NCAA Women's Golf Championships.
During the Dickson era, Tulane’s student-athletes compiled a semester grade point average of 3.0 and ranked among the NCAA leaders in graduation rates. Over the last 11 years, Tulane's varsity sports teams scored well above their national averages in the NCAA’s Academic Performance Rates (APR).
“When I look back on my 29 years in this business, my fondest memories are those I made at Tulane,” Dickson said. “I am most proud of what this program has done to transform the lives of so many of the young men and women who have worn a Green Wave uniform during my time here. I will miss them, my staff and coaches the most.”
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Dickson came to Tulane from Washington State, where he served as athletics director from 1994-2000. Prior to that, he spent six years as athletics director at his alma mater, The University of Tulsa.