Aug. 28, 2014
Willis previously held the position of Executive Associate Athletics Director, Student Services & Sport Administration. In the new role, Willis will serve as the primary advisor to Smith, providing oversight for the department’s day-to-day operations and serve as the primary decision maker in Smith’s absence. She will acquire direct oversight of the athletics department budget and will oversee the business and travel offices.
“Miechelle Willis is a longtime experienced athletics administrator who has demonstrated leadership skills that have already benefited our department,” Smith said. “This promotion recognizes that and our need to have her in more of a leadership role for all of our programs.”
Willis has nearly 30 years of experience as an intercollegiate athletics administrator, including the last 20 as a member of The Ohio State University Department of Athletics.
In addition to her new duties, Willis oversees women’s basketball and both tennis programs and has oversight of the administration of all sports other than football and men’s basketbal. She also is responsible for the oversight of the administrative and operational activities for sports performance, athletics and strategic communications, compliance and human resources and is the athletics liaison to the office of Student-Athlete Support Services (SASSO).
Willis also is a member of the Department of Athletics’ executive leadership team, an assignment that allows her leadership, input and guidance to be an invaluable asset for a department comprised of more than 320 employees, 1,000 student-athletes and an operations budget in excess of $151 million.
She has overseen or been a part of the hiring of numerous national-level head coaches, including Jim Foster, who guided the women’s basketball team to six consecutive Big Ten championships during his tenure, newly hired women’s basketball coach Kevin McGuff, men’s basketball coach Thad Matta, who has led Ohio State to five Big Ten titles and Ty Tucker, who has guided the men’s tennis team to nine-consecutive Big Ten titles, including 15 consecutive NCAA berths.
Willis also has played an integral role in bringing top-notch facilities to Ohio State, serving as the departmental representative on the project team responsible for a $140 million, 500,000 square foot recreational center, which includes a $23 million competition natatorium. She also provided oversight and guidance for the $30 million basketball locker room and practice facility renovation and expansion project, which was completed in 2013.
Tireless, efficient and focused, Willis serves as the Senior Woman Administrator to the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference and has served on numerous national, conference and campus committees. She has served on the Division I Management Council and the NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Issues Cabinet, as well as the Big Ten Legislative Review Committee.
Prior to joining the Ohio State staff, Willis spent seven years at Temple University, during which time the North Philadelphia school was seeking membership in the BIG EAST Conference. She served as the primary administrator for 11 women’s varsity sports at Temple and held department-wide responsibilities in the areas of compliance, personnel, student-athlete services and drug and alcohol education and testing.
Willis holds membership in the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), as well as the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Willis is a 1976 graduate of Grambling State University, where she was a standout track and field student-athlete. She also has her master’s degree from Grambling (1978).