Murray State University Director of Athletics Allen Ward is resigning. His last day is July 27.
According to Murray State, since Ward began the role in 2005, the Racers won 39 Ohio Valley Conference championships and played in the NCAA 29 times.
President Bob Davies said in a campus email on Friday that Ward was "presented an opportunity that he and his family could not turn down." Davies said that respective institution will make an announcement on Monday. Davies added that he wished Ward success in his next venture.
The university also credited Ward for an increase in the athletics department academic progress rate and 20 consecutive semesters of cumulative student-athlete GPAs exceeding 3.0. Ward also oversaw the openings and improvements of the Gene Ray Center for Murray State Basketball, the Burton Family Hall of Champions and Racer Field, Reagan Field, Cutchin Field and new scoreboards in the CFSB Center and Roy Stewart Stadium.
“It’s been an honor to serve as Director of Athletics at Murray State,” Ward said in a release. “I’m humbled by the success we’ve achieved and all we’ve been able to accomplish together as a team for the past 13 years. Racer Nation will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Coach Velvet Milkman will serve as the Interim Director of Athletics until a national search is concluded. She is the Head Women's Golf Coach and Senior Women's Athletic Administrator. According to Associate AD Dave Winder, Milkman is the first woman hold the university’s top athletics position.
The Murray State University Board of Regents in June approved contract extensions for both Ward and Milkman.