Oxford College is taking several steps for a revamped athletic program, with its second one coming last month.
The Division III University Athletic Association member institution named Roderick Stubbs its athletic director June 10. He took over the position vacated by Brandon Feldman in May.
Stubbs was Oxford’s assistant athletic director and head basketball coach, previously, and will continue his role with the basketball team. However, he will also pick up the duties of overseeing and supervising all four of the Eagles’ varsity sports teams, Oxford’s facilities, recruiting budgets, and the school’s eligibility and compliance requirements.
Stubbs will also lead Oxford athletics as it looks to take another step, adding three new sports and five new teams in the next three to five years - men’s soccer, men’s and women’s cross-country, and men’s and women’s golf.
“We’re thinking about starting a men’s varsity soccer team, which at this time is a club sport, so we think that would be an easy transition,” Stubbs said. “Then we would move on to men’s and women’s cross-country and men’s and women’s golf.”
The addition of the new sports had been discussed under Feldman after the college acquired new land that may be used for a cross-country course. Now Stubbs will carry that vision forward, starting with making sure the new sports are funded, and the budget for current sports is sustained.
“A lot of those sports are not very expensive to maintain,” Stubbs said. “The main part is to be able to get quality coaches to coach those teams.”
Before Stubbs can look into golf, cross country and soccer coaches, he has to hire a tennis coach to replace Feldman. Stubbs expects to make his first hire as athletic director by Aug. 1. After weeks of sorting through resumes and interviewing candidates, two finalists met with the search committee Tuesday.
“We’re looking for people with great integrity,” Stubbs said. “We’re looking for someone that will work within the Oxford community that teaches the basic fundamentals of the game and is a good communicator.”
Any new Oxford coach will have Stubbs as the measure of winning, with over 120 victories as the Eagles’ head basketball coach, a school record. Under Stubbs guidance throughout the last eight years, the Eagles have reached the sweet 16 of the National Junior College Athletic Association and the tournament’s round of 32. In 2012-13 the Oxford basketball team won 23 games, one season after going 21-10.
Prior to coming to Oxford Stubbs was an assistant at Morehouse College for 13 years, and played for the Atlanta school four years prior to that.
Stubbs helped the Maroon Tigers reach the NCAA Division II Final Four and earn a national No. 1 ranking by Sports Illustrated in his junior season.
Stubbs now looks to continue his success in athletics as Oxford continues to grow its athletics program.
That growth took its first step two years ago when the athletic department, student recreation department and credit-bearing health classes were merged into one unit – the Center for Healthful Living program.
With the athletic department a part of the Center for Healthful Living, Stubbs works under the program’s director Amanda Yu and with Assistant Athletic Director for Facilities, Peter Sherrard. Stubbs thinks this is the first college program in the country to take this approach to its athletic department, and so far it’s working.
“It really has gotten off to a good start,” Stubbs said. “We’re trying to promote combining resources on campus for the single purpose of healthy living.”
Stubbs will now look to continue that strong start, as he takes Oxford to a future of Eagles’ athletics with new sports and new heights.