DOVER, Del., Aug. 12, 2021 — Delaware State University has announced the appointment of Alecia Shields-Gadson as the university’s new Director of Athletics. Shields-Gadson has served in the post in an interim capacity since the retirement of former director Dr. D. Scott Gines earlier this year.
Shields-Gadson joined the Delaware State staff as Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance and Senior Woman Administrator in 2016. In 2020, she added the newly-created position of Deputy Athletics Director to her title, assigning her additional responsibilities as the department’s Diversity and Inclusion Designee (ADID), fulfilling a new NCAA requirement.
University President Dr. Tony Allen said, “Great athletics programs rely on building depth among the student-athletes, the coaching staff, and the administrators. Alecia is knowledgeable, talented, and highly motivated individual. She’s familiar with all our initiatives and is already the driving force behind many of them. I am pleased to have an Athletic Director of her caliber to step into the role without missing a beat.”
Shields-Gadson has nearly 30 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics as a senior level administrator and head coach. Prior to joining the Delaware State family, she was an athletics administrator at Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) rival Coppin State, in addition to Alcorn State of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC).
Her responsibilities as Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) at Delaware State have included student-athlete welfare, NCAA, conference (MEAC, ECAC, Atlantic Sun) and Title IX compliance, recruiting rules, in addition to student-athlete and community engagement.
As the University’s Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Designee, Shields-Gadson developed programming, sought educational resources and provided advocacy for diverse, equitable and inclusive environments that enhance the overall student-athlete experience.
In the spring of 2020, she spearheaded Delaware State’s “Athletics in Action,” a forum offering group and personal discussion, reflection, testimony and expert guests, along with resources to deal with the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and social justice issues for student-athletes, coaches and staff.
While at Coppin State, Shields-Gadson twice served as interim director of athletics, interim director of compliance and in her role as Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA, she had direct oversight of several administrative areas, most notably academics, media relations, marketing and promotions and sport administration. She was also an instructor in Sports Management.
During her tenure as Coppin State’s Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA, Shields-Gadson chaired various NCAA committees including Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee, Division I men’s and women’s track and field committee and Woman of the Year selection committee. She also assisted CSU in its award of a 900 thousand dollar NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) grant designed to improve academic standards at institutions with limited resources.
While at Alcorn State as the Sr. Associate Athletic Director and SWA, Shields-Gadson was a graduate of the NCAA Fellows Leadership Development Program and served on various conference and university committees. She was a successful track & field student-athlete at Southern University at Baton Rouge and also served as team captain.
A native of New Orleans, La., she earned a bachelor’s degree in English/Communications from Southern University in 1992 and a master’s degree in Athletic Administration and Secondary Education/Physical Education from Alcorn State in 1995. Currently she is enrolled in Delaware State University’s Educational Leadership doctoral program.
Shields-Gadson said she is grateful to the University for entrusting her with this leadership opportunity to oversee the Delaware State Athletics Program, which falls under Chief Operating Officer Cleon Cauley.
“There is great energy right now at Delaware State and I’m pleased to guide a team of great coaches and staff, along with over 400 champions & scholars who compete in 19 sports as we commence our journey to become the top diverse and contemporary HBCU in the country,” Shields-Gadson said. “Together, we will work to continue to ensure that our legacy and traditions are carried forward and our presence is felt in the State of Delaware and beyond. It’s a great day to be a Hornet!”