Derek Cowherd

Executive Director & Senior Associate AD, SASSO

Joined SASSO: August 2018
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Pre-Med Biology 1998 – University of Louisville, Louisville, KY; Master of Business & Public Administration (MBA) 2003 – University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Athletic Experience: Football, University of Louisville 1994-1996
Favorite Quote: ““Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” Muhammad Ali
Currently resides in: Westerville, OH
Family: Wife, Misty; two children, Jackson and Eden

Prior to joining the Buckeyes, Cowherd had a successful stint at the University of Mississippi where he served as the senior associate athletics director for student-athlete development. During his six years in Oxford, Cowherd helped to develop a variety of programs related to the academic success of student-athletes, pushing the graduation success rate to 85 percent – the highest in school history, and 4 consecutive 3.00 overall GPA’s for the department – the first in school history. He also served as a member and/or co-chair of various teams and committees: Athletics Senior Staff, 9A/PSA Committee, APR/GSR Committee, Council of Academic Administrators, Provost’s Academic Affairs Committee, Chancellor’s Committee on Accessibility, Council on Community Engagement, UM Diversity Leadership Council, Athletics and Intercollegiate Compliance Committee, Campus Internationalization Committee, Athletics Diversity Committee, and Student-Athlete Wellness Committee.

Before heading to Mississippi, Cowherd was the director of academic affairs at LSU, a position he took over in 2011 after joining LSU’s Academic Center for Student-Athletes in 2007. His primary role at LSU was academic oversight of the Tiger football team while supervising seven full-time advisors and other staff spread out amongst the other sports. Cowherd started his career at his alma mater, the University of Louisville. First as a student-athlete, then graduate assistant, academic counselor and ultimately as assistant director for academics in athletics after the completion of his master’s degree. The Greensburg, KY native earned his bachelor’s degree from Louisville in 1998, and completed his master’s in 2003. He started the pursuit of a doctorate in educational leadership and higher learning with a specialization in higher education administration while at Louisville and LSU and plans to complete his Ph.D. at The Ohio State University. Cowherd and his wife, Misty, are the parents of a son and daughter, Jackson and Eden.