Snodgrass Tapped as Interim AD at Clarion University

CLARION, Pa. (EYT) – Clarion University didn’t take long to name an interim replacement for outgoing athletic director Dave Katis, naming Katis’ assistant, Wendy Snodgrass, to the position of Interim Athletic Director effective July 2.

(Photo of Wendy Snodgrass (right) with Kayla Shull when Shull was named a NCAA Top 10 Award Winner in 2015. Photo courtesy of Clarion University Athletics)

Snodgrass has been at Clarion since 2006 and has served as the university’s Associate Athletic Director, Senior Woman Administrator, Compliance Coordinator and Title IX Deputy since the 2007-08 school year after spending two years as an acting Associate Athletic Director.

“Dr. Snodgrass has been a pivotal part of the operations of the athletic department, and I am excited that she has agreed to take on the responsibilities of this new role,” Clarion University Vice President of Student Affairs Susanne Fenske said. “She has proven herself to be dedicated and highly capable of handling the challenges associated with this position, and I look forward to seeing the impact of her leadership. I’m confident she will provide stable guidance through this transitional year.”

Katis announced Tuesday he was leaving the athletic director position to transition into a role as a classroom teacher in Sports Management. At the time of his Tuesday’s announcement, which sources have told had been in the works for a few months, Clarion elected not to name a replacement telling an interim replacement would be named in the next week.

In tapping Snodgrass to run the athletic department in the interim, Clarion has chosen a person who is very familiar with the athletic department having worked side-by-side with Katis since coming to Clarion in Katis’ first year as athletic director in 2005-06. Before Clarion, Snodgrass was a graduate assistant in the California (Pa.) athletic department from 2002-03 and was the Assistant Marketing Director for the Beaver Valley Mall from June 2001 to Jan. 2002.

“I would like to thank Dr. Karen Whitney and Dr. Susanne Fenske for this opportunity,” Snodgrass said. “My experience at Clarion has been outstanding, and I am grateful for the support that I have received. Clarion has a rich tradition of both academic and athletic success, and I am excited for the opportunity to continue working with our student-athletes, coaches, alumni and the community to continue to build on that success.

“I look forward to continuing the relationships with our internal and external stakeholders to build upon the Golden Eagles tradition of excellence by cultivating an environment that emphasizes the growth and development of our student-athletes, championship caliber competition, and civic engagement.”

On Tuesday, in a release from the university, Fenske said the interim athletic director would likely serve from July 2016 until July 2017. At the time, university spokesperson David Love told that the interim athletic director could be considered for the permanent job.

Fenske also said Tuesday that during the time the interim athletic director is serving, the university will access it needs and approaches to the management of athletics, athletics programs, athletic staff and student-athletes.

“We want to determine what we believe will be the best model for oversight of both the operational and competition components of our program,” Fenske said.

Snodgrass has experience in overseeing an athletic-department review at Clarion serving as the chair of the 2014 Clarion University Intercollegiate Athletics Task Force.

In Nov. 2014, the university announced that it was ushering in a “New Level of Excellence in Intercollegiate Athletics” under a plan devised by the Task Force, which was made up of members from both inside the university and from the Clarion community and accepted by Clarion University president Karen Whitney.

According to Love, the new review will differ from the task force review.

“The task force was focused on the athletic program structure primarily,” Love said. “This review will be focused on operational efficiency in the athletic administration.”

Snodgrass was also the chair of the NCAA Division II Swimming and Diving national committee from 2008-13, and in 2010-11 she served as the chair of the Joint Committee on NCAA Swimming and Diving for all three divisions. She is currently the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Athletic Director Liaison for Swimming and Diving Championships. Her other duties at Clarion have included NCAA eligibility certification, compliance and student-athlete progress.

A native of Washington, Pa., Snodgrass earned a bachelor’s in Public Relations with a minor in Marketing from Westminster in 2001. A three-time NAIA swimming All-American and a four-year letterwinner, she was a team co-captain and was named to the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) All-Academic Team in 1999-2000. Snodgrass went on to work as a graduate assistant in the athletic department at California (Pa.) from 2002-03 and earned a Master of Education degree.

Snodgrass earned her Doctor of Education degree in December 2015 from IUP. Her dissertation was titled Game On: A Qualitative Study of Leadership Skills Developed Through College Athletics.

Snodgrass is married to Jeff Snodgrass and the couple has two twin daughters, Callie and Maggie.

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