LEXINGTON, Va. – Dave Diles will become Virginia Military Institute's new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Superintendent Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III announced today.
A veteran athletic administrator with more than 20 years experience, including serving as head athletics director for 11 combined years at two Division I institutions, Diles succeeds Donny White, who will be retiring in November after 15 years at the helm.
Diles comes to the Institute from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he has served as director of athletics and chair for the Department of Physical Education and Athletics since 2005. The university is in the process of transferring responsibility for oversight of the Reserve Officers Training Corps to Diles’ department.
“This is an unparalleled professional opportunity that fits perfectly with my professional aspirations, personal values, and life goals,” Diles said. “I could not be more honored and humbled to be joining the VMI leadership team. General Peay, the search committee, and the other members of the VMI community exhibited a depth of commitment to advancing the intercollegiate programs that I found inspiring.
“There is a great foundation that Donny White has left in place,” he continued. “That gives me great confidence as I step in this position at VMI.”
Diles was previously director of intercollegiate athletics at Eastern Michigan University (1999-2005) and was vice president and director of athletics at St. Bonaventure University (1994-99).
“Dr. Diles has an impressive record of success in collegiate athletics,” said Peay. “The Institute has been so fortunate to have Coach White as its athletic leader for 15 years. We feel that Dr. Diles’ experience and his demonstrated leadership ability will fit well with the demanding VMI philosophy for cadet athletes of commitment on the field, commitment in the classroom, and commitment within the Corps of Cadets.”
During his tenure at Case Western Reserve, Diles led a department that has had nine NCAA postgraduate scholarship recipients, 37 Academic All-Americans, 46 All-Americans, and three NCAA individual champions. He also assisted in securing leadership gifts of $4 million to complete the funding for Varsity Field House and served key roles in raising funds for capital projects including new baseball and softball stadiums. The Case Western Reserve intercollegiate sports under Diles competed at unprecedented levels of success as seven programs earned their first NCAA Championship berths in program history. The football program won 38 consecutive regular season games, earning NCAA playoff berths in three consecutive years (2007, 2008, 2009).
Eastern Michigan won 21 Mid-American Conference Championships when Diles served as athletics director from 1999 to 2005, marking the second most prolific run of conference championships among conference members during that time period and the greatest number of championships in the program's history. Eastern Michigan also won two NCAA individual championships during that period – the only national titles in the history of the intercollegiate program. The inherited graduation rate of EMU student-athletes nearly doubled in five years.
While at St. Bonaventure, Diles raised $1.5 million for capital improvements to athletic facilities, and the teams he led won more Atlantic 10 Conference Championships from 1995 to 1999 than had been won in all years prior to 1995.
Diles began his career in intercollegiate athletic administration as an assistant athletic director at Central Michigan University from 1989-91 and moved to a similar position at Auburn University from 1991-94 before being named to the head post at St. Bonaventure.
Diles also served as assistant director of public relations for the New York Jets and was a ticket and marketing intern for the New England Patriots in 1984. He also served as director of athletics at Dexter Community Schools from 1987 to 1989 and was an administrative assistant at the University of Michigan (1985-87).
A native of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Diles is a 1983 graduate of Ohio University, where he also earned a master's degree in sports administration. He was awarded a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from the University of Michigan in 1988.
Diles is married to Suzanne Irene Diles, and they have two sons, Matthew (22) and Mitchell (21).
NOTES TO REPORTERS: A press conference will be held at noon Monday in Marshall Hall, the Center for Leadership and Ethics, on the VMI post. Parking is available adjacent to the building.
For video reporters, a mult-box will be available. Camera throw from risers to the podium will be about 30 feet.