BEREA, Ohio – Baldwin Wallace University Director of Athletics Kris Diaz '78 has announced that he will be retiring, effective June 30. Assistant Director of Athletics John Snell '87 will serve as Interim Director while the University conducts a national search.
Diaz was named the Director of Athletics at BW on July 1, 2008 and served in that capacity for the past 12 years.
"I'm so grateful to have been able to return to my alma mater to finish my career," commented Diaz. "The past 22 years have been unbelievably positive for me and our family. Our oldest daughter, Jessica, received her undergrad degree from BW and one of our twin sons, Nick, recently completed his MBA here. So, to say BW has meant a lot to us would be a huge understatement. It's been an honor to serve the past 12 years as Director of Athletics and to see our coaches and student-athletes strive to reach their goal of Ohio Athletic Conference and NCAA championships. But even better than that is to realize the importance that our programs and coaches utilize athletics to build life lessons. By developing our student-athletes, not only on the fields of play, but utilizing sports to build character, integrity, teamwork, strong work ethics and self-sacrifice for the betterment of all. BW has always been about great people and relationships which has never made my position feel like 'work.' It's been enjoyable collaborating with many people across campus to enhance the experiences of all who work and attend classes at BW. I will miss the 'BW Community' but realize once a Yellow Jacket always a Yellow Jacket. Go Jackets!"
In addition, he was an assistant football and track coach at the University from 1998 to 2008 and served as the assistant athletic director from 2006-07. Diaz is a tenured member of the health and physical education faculty and has been a program coordinator in that department. In 2006, he served as a faculty fellow in the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs.
Outside of BW, Diaz has been active nationally in NCAA Division III. He was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators, the NCAA D-III Membership Committee and the NCAA Division III Football Playoff Committee.
"Kris has done a fine job as Director of Athletics at his alma mater during the past decade," said Senior Vice President Dick Fletcher. "Under his leadership we've added sports and significantly upgraded our athletic facilities for our coaches, student-athletes and teams. He is highly respected by our coaches, our student-athletes and his colleagues throughout the OAC and the NCAA. We are grateful for his dedication and service to Baldwin Wallace University."
A graduate of Amherst High School, Diaz graduated with honors from BW in 1978. He earned his Master's degree in physical education from the University of Akron in 1979 and a specialist's degree in educational administration from Moorhead State (Minn.) University in 1994.
"Kris worked hard for BW and for the athletic department," stated Senior Women's Administrator and Head Women's Basketball Coach Cheri Harrer. "He's a good man and has earned this retirement!"
Diaz began his coaching career in 1976 at BW as a student-assistant under the legendary Lee Tressel and was a graduate assistant coach at the University of Akron in 1979.
From 1979-83, he was an instructor in physical education, an admission counselor, an assistant coach in football and basketball and a head track coach at Friends (Kan.) University. Diaz received an Outstanding Young Man of America award in 1982.
He was an assistant professor of physical education, an assistant football and track coach, assistant athletic director and interim facility director at Moorhead State from 1983-89. While at Moorhead State, Diaz also served on a number of university committees.
After Moorhead State, he was an assistant professor of physical education and head football coach at Bemidji State (Minn.) University from 1989-96. During his tenure, Diaz was selected as Coach of the Year on two occasions.
His final stop before coming back to Berea was at Elyria Catholic High School where he served as a teacher and head football coach from 1996-97.
Diaz and his wife Debi reside in Amherst and have three adult children Jessica '08 and twin sons Jake and Nick, MBA '17.