In the heat of summer 2015, new Athletic Director Ryan Ivey filled the vacancy former director Derek Van der Merwe left open after serving APSU Athletics for a year and a half.
Van der Merwe was promoted to Vice President of Advancement, Communications and Strategic Initiatives in April of 2015.
While serving as the director, he redesigned the Gov logo to look more intimidating. He also oversaw the build of the new Governor’s Stadium, when opened in fall of 2014.
The logo change made local news stations in Tennessee.
Ivey officially stepped in as APSU’s 13th athletic director on Tuesday, Aug. 4.
Ivey came to APSU from Texas A&M University-Commerce, a Division II school, where he served as the athletic director.
Previously, Ivey was an associate’s athletic director at McNeese State.
Ivey also spent time with the women’s basketball team at the University of Memphis as director of operations and has worked with the Memphis Redbirds.
Ivey’s alma mater is the University of Memphis, where he was a punter and a holder on the football team.
One of his former teammates is New England Patriots placekicker Stephen Gostkowski.
During a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 4, Ivey spoke positively about APSU and its athletics.
“I want to take this opportunity to say how humbled and honored I am to be standing in front of you today,” Ivey said. “This is a tremendous opportunity and one I completely understand and appreciate the gravity and responsibility that comes along with the job. I promise I will work hard every day to ensure that we represent this institution in a first class manner.”
Ivey said one of his goals is to use the APSU athletics program as a center of the community and region.
Whether they are two or 92, Ivey said he wants every event to be fun and engaging, and he expressed hopes to improve attendance and support from APSU students and community members.
Ivey addressed APSU student athletes directly.
“We care about you. This isn’t about us … if we don’t have student athletes, we don’t need coaches, and we don’t need an athletic director.”
Another goal of Ivey’s is to provide quality and functional facilities for all sports to help win championships and recruit athletes.
“We will compete and achieve Ohio Valley and NCAA post-season championships,” Ivey said. “We are going to be purposeful about winning. Success can and will be achieved at APSU. There is a rich history and tradition at this institution and we’re going to continue to build it.”
Ivey plans to use innovative strategies to build a brand outside campus, to increase revenue, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, Governor’s Club memberships and licensing to move APSU Athletics further.
“Now is the time to be a part of the Governor family,” Ivey said.