CIAA

Virginia Union shakes up athletics department, hires first woman AD

Virginia Union makes changes, and history, while shaking up its athletics department.

(RICHMOND, Virginia) _ Virginia Union University President & CEO Dr. Hakim J. Lucas has announced the promotion of National College Football Hall of Fame Coach Joe Taylor to Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics and the historic appointment of Felicia Johnson to Athletics Director.

Taylor has shaped Virginia Union University Athletics into one of the best programs in the CIAA. In his new role, he will oversee VUU’s comprehensive intercollegiate athletics division, leading a range of programs that support and develop approximately 240 student-athletes playing in 15 NCAA sports.

“Coach Taylor is someone who truly believes in the values and mission of Virginia Union University,” Lucas said. “He understands the changing landscape of college athletics, and possesses the skills necessary to sustain and grow VUU’s athletic success while playing a critical role in goal setting for the University’s enrollment, retention, marketing and fundraising efforts.”

With Taylor’s elevation to Vice President, Johnson becomes the first female Director of Athletics in the history of Virginia Union University.

“As a woman in a field dominated by men, I am honored to have been given this wonderful opportunity,” Johnson said. “Nothing will stop us from chasing our championship dreams while we focus on the health, wellness and education of our student-athletes.”

VUU has won 15 divisional, conference and regional championships while completing a student-athlete graduation rate of over 60% since Taylor was appointed Athletics Director in December 2014. During his 40 years of coaching, Taylor has transformed the lives of thousands of young men. He has won 4 National Championships, 14 conference titles, 7 bowl games, and has a lifetime win-loss record of 233-96-4.

“Hard work does not go unnoticed,” Taylor said. “I’ve always believed in never getting outworked, giving it your best effort, and giving yourself permission to win.”

Johnson has spent the past 11 years as the Associate Athletic Director for Compliance /Senior Woman Administrator.  She joined the staff in July 2007 as Director of Compliance. Since then, she has been awarded additional responsibilities as the Senior Woman Administrator and Associate Athletic Director.

“Felicia Johnson is an incredible asset to Panther athletics,” Lucas said. “She thrives on challenges, and shares my commitment to excellence in our winning traditions in the classroom, and on the field.” 

The Mappsville, Virginia, native is a 2003 honors graduate of Virginia Union University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems. Johnson was a student-athlete at VUU, lettering in volleyball, bowling and earning All-CIAA honors in softball. 

Johnson earned her Master of Science Degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Sports Leadership in 2007.  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Taylor is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and a member of the JRE Lee Chapter of the Mason Prince Hall of Shriners. He is the author of the book “The Making of a Champion – Success is an Inconvenience.”

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