University of Denver Hires New Head of Athletics and Recreation
Karlton Creech will serve as Vice Chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations
The University of Denver today announced Karlton Creech as the new vice chancellor for Athletics, Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations, effective May 1, 2018.
Creech comes to DU from the University of Maine, where he has served as Director of Athletics since 2014 and adjunct lecturer and proponent of leadership studies. Creech has spent over two decades in sports administration, building a reputation for leading exceptional athletics programs, as well as fundraising and encouraging the academic success of student-athletes.
Creech will oversee the Division of Athletics and Recreation — a Division with a longstanding tradition of athletic excellence at the University for the past 150 years. Creech will oversee 17 Division I teams and a recreation program that engages more than 60 percent of the student body — from intramural sports to club sports and the Coors Fitness Center which had nearly 200,000 visitors in 2017.
“I am eager to continue the tradition of athletic and academic excellence that has been established at the University of Denver,” said Creech. “Athletics is personal. My wife Staci went to school on an athletics scholarship so I know the importance of our student-athletes excelling in the classroom and the community.”
Before UMaine, Creech spent a decade at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he coordinated an $88 million expansion of the football stadium and ultimately served as Senior Associate Director of Athletics.
Creech is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and serves on the American East Conference’s executive committee.
While at UMaine, Creech spearheaded a strategic plan for the NCAA Division I athletics program. He restructured the program’s fundraising model and led projects that resulted in multiple endowments of over $1 million.
Since 2013, under Creech’s leadership, UMaine’s student-athlete GPA has increased year-over-year, including the total number of “Scholar-Athletes” and “Rising Stars” — students with GPAs 3.0 or higher.
“Karlton is a perfect fit for our diverse, ambitious and innovative community — with his focus on students and celebrating achievement,” said Chancellor Rebecca Chopp. “Known as a bridge builder on and off campus, Karlton will help us all achieve our dreams and aspirations.”
Creech is a North Carolina native, born and raised in Chapel Hill. He received his Bachelor of Arts in political science from North Carolina State University, and a Master of Arts in management and leadership at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is married to Staci Creech and enjoys playing golf, teaching and traveling. They are excited about moving to Denver and partaking in our more than 300 days of sunshine.
DU has won 32 Division I National Championships, 23 in skiing, eight in men’s ice hockey and one in men’s lacrosse — which became the first lacrosse program west of the Mississippi River to win a national title. Denver has won nine of the last 10 Division I-AAA Directors’ Cups for the most successful Division I program without football. The Pioneers have made over 170 NCAA Tournament appearances, won 118 individual NCAA Championships and 65 Olympians, including two current students, Troy Terry and Andrea Komsic. Denver is a member of The Summit League, NCHC and RMISA, while also sponsoring programs as affiliates in the BIG EAST and the Big 12.
As the college athletics scene has evolved, so have the Pioneers. Beyond the playing surface, our athletes excel in the classroom, with 93 percent of our athletes graduating. To date the University has 53 CoSIDA Academic All-America selections and DU student-athletes have claimed five Elite 90 awards since 2011 — an honor given to the participant at the National Championship site with the highest grade point average. At the University of Denver, our athletes are students first.
Current Vice Chancellor Peg Bradley-Doppes is retiring after 13 years of service. During her tenure, she led the Division to nine Directors’ Cups and 102 conference titles.