Breaking News: Toro Nation Names New Athletic Directorcsudhbulletin March 24, 2021 0 COMMENTS
Dena Freeman-Patton takes the helm of CSUDH Athletics, bringing her fresh experience from Division I programs and returns to the CSU system. Photo by Rick Hoskin | CSUDH Athletics
By Daniel Tom | Contributing Writer
After a five-month search, a new leader will take the horns of Toros Athletics. On Wednesday, California State University, Dominguez Hills Vice President for Student Affairs William Franklin announced that Dena Freeman-Patton has been named the new associate vice president and director of athletics.
“It’s an exciting time to be at California State University, Dominguez Hills and I look forward to serving the talented student-athletes and experienced coaches and staff,” Freeman-Patton said in a statement.
Freeman-Patton was selected after a thorough national search was conducted and was narrowed down from a panel of four finalists.
“I am more than enthusiastic to welcome Dena to the Toro community, and I cannot wait for all of our student-athletes to meet this phenomenal leader,” VP Franklin said in a statement. “It takes a village to raise an associate vice president/director of athletics with the breadth and depth of experience Dena brings to the space”.
Freeman-Patton brings more than 20 years in athletic administration to Toro Nation, including a heavy emphasis in academics and diversity and inclusion. The past two years, she was deputy athletic director and chief operating officer at the University of New Orleans, a Division I program that competes in the Southland conference.
She also is the current chair of the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee and, according to the University of New Orleans website, “played a key role in creating legislation for the addition of an Athletics Diversity and Inclusion Designee (ADID) to support the Presidential Pledge and Commitment to Promoting Diversity and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics.”
Before the University of New Orleans, Freeman-Patton was deputy athletic director at Cal State Bakersfield, where she guided the efforts to land an $870,000 NCAA grant that helped launch the opening of the $1 million Kegley Center for Student Success. For her efforts, Freeman-Patton was named 2018 Executive of the Year by Women Leaders in College Sports
She has also served as associate athletic director at Georgia State University (2007-13), associate director of academics and career development at the University of Maryland (2005-07) and academic coordinator at North Carolina State University (2002-05).
A native of Baltimore, Freeman-Patton lettered as a basketball student-athlete at Liberty University, where she earned a bachelor’s in sports management in 1996. She received a master’s in sports administration from Georgia State in 1999.
“The elevation of our athletic enterprise is an important factor in aspiring to be a model urban university,” Csudh President Thomas A. Parham said. ” Consequently, we’re extremely excited that Dena has accepted our invitation to join the Toro Nation as AVP/Director of Athletics.”
“Her breadth of experience and proven ability to take athletic departments to new heights will make her an invaluable addition to our university,” Parham said. “I feel that we have made a great choice, and have a leader in place who will truly make a difference in the lives of our student-athletes, and the athletic department.”