Nnenna Akotaobi Named Associate Athletics Director
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Marian Ware Director of
Physical Education and Athletics Adam Hertz announced Monday that
Nnenna Akotaobi has been named the associate
athletics director at Swarthmore College.
Akotaobi comes to Swarthmore from Grinnell College, where she served as both the coordinator for diversity and achievement in athletics and assistant coordinator for athletic facilities and event management since 2010.
"Nnenna stood out among an extremely large and talented group of candidates. Her extensive and varied experience at Grinnell, running the spectrum from diversity and inclusion, to facilities, to NCAA championships, has prepared her well for a successful transition to Swarthmore," said Hertz. "We are excited that she has chosen to continue her career with us."
As the coordinator for diversity and achievement in athletics at Grinnell, Akotaobi worked to promote diversity within the athletics department and was responsible for the retention and recruitment of student-athletes from underrepresented backgrounds. Akotaobi was instrumental in diversity education among the department, co-authoring departmental policy on the inclusion and participation of transgender student-athletes, implementing a departmental diversity education program entitled “Diversity Dialogues,” and using extensive analysis to develop diversity values for the department's strategic plan and mission statement. She also collaborated closely with coaches to develop recruiting plans that helped increase and diversify the pool of underrepresented prospective student-athletes at Grinnell.
As the assistant coordinator for athletic facilities & event management, Akotaobi helped manage Grinnell's newly-completed Charles Benson Bear '39 Recreation and Athletic Center. Akotaobi was responsible for contracts and scheduling of facility use among the athletics department and external users such as club sports, intramural sports, and community organizations. She also had direct oversight of over 100 workers and served as the gameday manager for Grinnell athletic events. Akotaobi played a vital administrative role when Grinnell hosted the 2012 NCAA DIII Indoor Track & Field Championships in March, serving as marketing & event management coordinator.
“It is an honor to join Adam Hertz and the rest of the athletics staff at Swarthmore. This is an incredible institution in terms of academic excellence and athletic success," said Akotaobi. "I look forward to building on the great tradition that Swarthmore College Athletics represents.”
Prior to working at Grinnell, Akotaobi served as the director of championships and assistant to the commissioner at the Midwest Conference, a position created by the NCAA Division III Ethnic Minority and Women’s Internship Grant Program. At the Midwest Conference, Akotaobi managed 16 conference championships, oversaw a $20,000 conference award and merchandise program and organized the inaugural MWC Diversity Summit, which supported the recruitment and retention of ethnic minority student-athletes and staff at MWC institutions.
Akotaobi is a 2009 graduate of the University of Denver, where she was a standout student-athlete on the Pioneers' basketball team during her four-year playing career. Akotaobi was the first player in the history of the Denver women's basketball program to play in 120 career games and ranks 10th all-time in school history in three-point field goal percentage (34.8), 15th all-time in free-throws made (182), and 13th all-time in blocks (54). A three-time member of the Sun Belt Academic Honor Roll during her career, Akotaobi served as team captain and was a 2008-2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award nominee.
A native of Thornton, Colo., Akotaobi is member of numerous national committees and organizations. She is a member of the NCAA Minority Opportunity & Interests Committee, National Association of Colligate Women’s Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) and Black Coaches & Administrators (BCA) and is a 2010 graduate of the NACWAA/NCAA Institute for Administrative Advancement.