A nearly six-month-long search for Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sue Willey’s successor has ended with the announcement that Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Scott Young will take over the position. According to Young, he will officially take over the position from Willey on Sept. 1.
Willey announced her retirement in December leading the university to begin a search to find a replacement for the 45-year veteran of the university according to UIndy Athletics. The search began shortly after for her replacement, according to a UIndy press release. Young said that he is excited for the opportunity to serve as the new VP.
“I feel very, very excited and very blessed for the opportunity to be the next leader of UIndy Athletics— [a] place that I’ve called home for the past 26 years of my life,” Young said. “I think it’s just even more special to be chosen to be the leader at a place that’s home and with people that are just like my family.”
Young has been with UIndy for 26 years, holding several different positions during his tenure. Before working as senior associate athletic director For compliance, Young served as the assistant head baseball coach, while also being the coordinator of gameday operations. According to University President Robert Manuel, it was Young’s experience with the University that made him the right choice.
“I’m ecstatic…. When you look at the people in the pool, not only is he known to us, he’s been here for 20 plus years, but he has established himself as a leader around campus,” Manuel said. “He’s established himself as an NCAA leader. He’s established himself, is knowledgeable of how to motivate, how to recruit, how to be involved in the tough conversations we’re having right now about higher education leadership there just wasn’t a better fit for the position.”
The search was done with the help of 18 individuals from the UIndy community, ranging from administrators to coaches, according to thepress release. Young said that the application process started back in December 2019 and finalized shortly before the announcement was made. According to Young, the growth of the university was his purpose in applying.
“It’s just been great for all the support that I’ve had from all of our athletic staff and all the individuals on campus,” Young said. “…I truly have believed through this entire process that I’m the right person to lead UIndy Athletics. And I went through the interview process and said, I think if I didn’t feel that I was truly the right person, I would not have applied because I feel like that the university itself is way more important than my own personal satisfaction.”
Young said that his first goal in the position would be to seek a replacement for former Head Men’s Basketball Coach Stan Gouard. On April 7, Gouard resigned from the university and accepted a head coaching position at the University of Southern Indiana, according to UIndy Athletics. Young said his biggest focus is to work on the branding of the university’s athletic programs.
“My big thing is that I want everyone associated with UIndy Athletics to have a winning mentality,” Young said. “And when I think [about] a winning mentality, people think that’s immediately winning games, winning matches, winning events. But I want our student-athletes and our programs to have a focus on winning as students winning as people and winning as athletes. We’re really gonna try to connect to the word win and just winning at everything that we do within our department and at UIndy.”
According to Manuel, the university was not looking for someone that would just continue what Willey has done and established at UIndy, but they were looking for someone that can make the university better. Young said that is going to be one of his biggest challenges.
“Anytime that you take over at an institution where the previous leader has been so valued and so appreciated and been here for such a lengthy period of time,” Young said. “Obviously [with] her [Willey’s] retirement and being here 45 plus years is that there’s always going to be the challenge of taking over from somebody that’s been great for the university and great for UIndy Athletics.”
Young said that he learned a lot from working under Willey and he hopes to bring that into his new role. Some of the lessons include the value of the university as a whole and giving UIndy staff the ability to grow. According to Young, the thing he values the most about UIndy is the people.
“I absolutely just cherish the relationships with all of the staff within the department, all my colleagues on campus, [and] the student-athletes,” Young said. “… UIndy is a great place and there are so many great people and I think that’s why all of us appreciate it so much.”