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Northwestern Appoints Gragg to Vice President for Athletic Strategy

Dr. Derrick Gragg has been named vice president for athletic strategy at Northwestern University, a newly created position for the oversight of the university’s athletics strategy.

Dr. Derrick GraggDr. Derrick Gragg“I am looking forward to my new role amid this new era for college athletics, and I am committed to ensuring that Northwestern’s tradition of excellence, on and off the field, continues,” said Gragg.

Gragg’s appointment is partly a response to newly recognized name, image, and likeness (NIL) rights of student-athletes, which give them more leverage in the recruitment process.

A former football four-year letter-winner at Vanderbilt, Gragg has always valued the impact of academics on athletes.

Gragg holds a bachelor’s degree in human development at Vanderbilt University, where he was an All-Southeastern Conference Scholar Athlete. He also holds master’s in sports administration from Wayne State University and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas. He served as senior vice president for inclusion, education and community engagement at the NCAA before joining Northwestern.

As vice president for athletic strategy, Gragg is expected to focus on advising the president and athletic director about how Northwestern can be a leader in how it approaches this new landscape while addressing the new challenges it presents. He will assume the new role once his position as athletic director is refilled.

“I will work closely with the new athletic director, President Schill and the Northwestern administration to ensure current and future Wildcats benefit fully from this evolving college athletics environment while staying true to our broader mission of academic and personal development for every student-athlete,” said Gragg.

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