Northridge finishes athletic director open forums

Bob Garcia

CSUN ended it series of athletic director open forums Thursday afternoon by welcoming Derrick Ramsey, Coppin State University’s athletic director.

Ramsey is the fifth candidate Northridge has brought in to be interviewed for the athletic director position.

For the last four years, Ramsey has worked as the athletic director for Coppin State University, after previously holding the athletic director position at Kentucky State University from 1999-2003.

“My focus here (at CSUN) will be academics,” Ramsey said. “But don’t get it misunderstood I want to win championships too.”

During his tenure at Coppin State, Ramsey has increased the athletic department graduation rate from 56 percent to 69 percent, and had the average student-athlete GPA at 3.00 or higher. Coppin State was rewarded a $300,000 grant from the NCAA for its academic success in the athletic department. The school instituted a student mentor program, where faculty travels on the road with the sports programs offering tutoring. Ramsey hopes he can bring that same academic achievement to Northridge.

“At the end of the day success starts with a degree,” Ramsey said. “Its the starting point and we can all agree on that.”

Growing up in Hastings, Florida, Ramsey played football and basketball in high school, and went on to play for the University of Kentucky as its starting quarterback in the mid-70s. Drafted by the Oakland Raiders, Ramsey enjoyed a nine year playing career.

While with the Raiders, Ramsey gained that sense of family environment in the workplace from team owner Al Davis.

“What I have tried to duplicate is a family-first place in the workplace,” Ramsey said. “What I want (is a coach) that not only wins games, but I want a coach who is equally interested in (his players’) degree. I want a coach who is interested in this guy or young lady in what they do after they leave this institution.”

He also views the athletic director position at CSUN as a “golden opportunity” to take the athletic department to higher levels of athletic success.

“I look forward to having the opportunity to have some fun making things happen here at (CSUN) and getting (CSUN athletics) to a place where it wants to be,” Ramsey said.