Well, after *checks notes* three weeks of relative silence on the Athletic Director front following the controversial Mike Polisky saga that ended with him announcing his resignation only 10 days into his tenure, it appears Northwestern has found his replacement in Tulsa Athletic Director Derrick Gragg. The news was first reported by Yahoo’s Pete Thamel.
Sources: Former Tulsa Atheltic Director Derrick Gragg expected to become the next AD at Northwestern. He’s currently the NCAA’s senior VP for inclusion, education and community engagement.— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) June 4, 2021
As Thamel’s tweet mentions, Gragg also currently holds the title of Senior Vice President for Inclusion, Education and Community Engagement for the NCAA. Gragg received his Bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University in 1992 (and also played there as a wide receiver for the Commodores), before later graduating with a Master’s from Wayne State in 1995 and a PHD from Arkansas in 2004.
Gragg has extensive experience in administration, having served as the Director of Student Life at Vanderbilt from ‘93-‘95, the Director of Compliance at the University of Missouri from ‘95-’97, the Assistant AD at Michigan from ‘97-’00, the Senior Associate AD at Arkansas from ‘00-‘06, and then the same AD roles at Eastern Michigan from ‘06-’13 and at Tulsa from ‘13 to the present day.
Gragg is also a published author, having written 40 Days of Direction: Life Lessons from the Talented Ten, which focuses on advice derived from the life experiences of both Gragg and 10 other Vanderbilt student-athletes. Additionally, Gragg was the recipient of the 2008-09 Black Coaches and Administrators, Administrator of the Year award while working at Eastern Michigan.