Tim Demant, a professional with more than 15 years of experience leading small-college athletics departments, has been selected as the new director of athletics at Whitworth University.
Demant comes to Whitworth from Goshen College, in Indiana, where he has served as director of athletics for the past six years. Prior to his move to Goshen, Demant was the athletics director and head men’s volleyball coach at Columbia Bible College, in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada, from 1998-2008.
“Tim Demant will be a great leader for the Pirates’ athletics program because he is a competitor himself, having achieved success in a variety of roles including as coach and administrator,” said Whitworth President Beck A. Taylor. “Tim brings years of seasoned experience as an athletics director, and he fully embraces the values and mission of Whitworth University.”
Demant stood out from the crowd in a deep and talented pool of applicants, according to Steve Schadt, Whitworth’s aquatics director and swimming coach, who served as chair of the search committee.
“It was apparent very early in the process that Tim has a genuine heart for student-athletes and he will be a tremendous colleague for everyone within our department,” Schadt said. “His Christ-centered style of leadership will align well with the mission of Whitworth.”
Demant is ready to hit the ground running.
“I am excited about joining a great team of people committed to excellence in all areas in order to impact the lives of the students we serve,” he said. “During the interview process I was very impressed by the commitment to excellence that was shared by President Taylor, the coaches and everyone I interacted with. Whitworth University is truly a special place, and I am excited be a part of the team.”
At Goshen, a small, church-based institution, Demant managed a 15-sport collegiate athletics department much like the one he will inherit at Whitworth. The Maple Leafs compete in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA) as part of the Crossroads League.
Some of Demant’s accomplishments as the AD at Goshen include developing a department strategic plan, creating and implementing a department policies-and-procedures manual, improving the academic profile of the school’s student-athletes, enhancing community engagement, and increasing fund-raising. He also expanded the Maple Leafs’ local exposure through improved marketing, both on campus and in the larger community.
“I am very proud of the culture of academic excellence that coaches and administrators [at Goshen] have fostered, leading to 287 NAIA Scholar-Athletes since 2008 and nine Capital One Academic All-Americans since 2012,” Demant said. “I'm also very proud of our Leaf Relief program, which encouraged and created opportunities for student-athletes to give back and serve in the local community. Whether they were reading in the elementary schools, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, collecting for a local food pantry or collecting donations to sponsor a child in Rwanda through World Vision's sponsorship program, our student-athletes stepped up and gave back.”
|Photo courtesy Goshen Sports Information|
Demant was a leader in the Crossroads League, serving as the chair of the conference this year and as vice-chair for the previous two years. He was named the Crossroads League Athletics Director of the Year in 2012-13.
Demant served in the dual roles of head coach and AD during his 10-year tenure at Columbia Bible College. His major accomplishment at Columbia was the addition of a new athletics center for the Bearcats’ four primary sports – men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s volleyball. It was the first on-campus facility dedicated to athletics at CBC. He directed the planning, construction and ongoing operations of that facility.
Demant served as the president of the Pacific Western Athletic Conference (PacWest), of which CBC is a member, for three years (2005-08), chairing the league’s bi-annual meetings and representing the conference on various governing committees.
Demant has lived the life of small-college athletics, first as a student-athlete, then as a coach and only later as an administrator.
Demant successfully coached his CBC volleyball squad at the same time he led the department as AD. He developed a national-caliber team that finished as high as third in the nation (Canadian Colleges Athletic Association). He was the PacWest Coach of the Year in 2002-03 and in 2003-04.
A native of Ontario, Canada, Demant earned his B.A. from Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C, where he was a standout volleyball player, twice earning CCAA All-Canadian honors. Following graduation, in 1995, he was immediately tabbed as TWU’s interim head coach in men’s volleyball. He then served two more seasons as the Spartans’ top assistant coach before moving to Columbia Bible.
Demant earned a master’s degree in human kinetics from the University of British Columbia in 1998 and is currently working on a doctor of education degree in sports management through the U.S. Sports Academy, in Daphne, Alabama.
“Having had the experience of being a student-athlete, coach and administrator at several schools similar to Whitworth, I feel I have a strong understanding of the small-college athletics landscape and the challenges and opportunities we'll need to face together,” Demant said. “That experience will serve as a valuable resource in helping student-athletes, coaches and the administrative team navigate the day-to-day, and plan for the future.”
Here and Now
Demant will lead a Whitworth athletics department that has claimed seven consecutive Northwest Conference McIlroy-Lewis All-Sports Trophies. The Pirates have had three teams (men’s swimming, men’s basketball, women’s basketball) score points in the Learfield Director’s Cup Division III standings in 2013-14, with men’s and women’s track and field likely to add to that list later in May.
“My first priority will be to connect with coaches and staff to see how I can best serve their efforts,” Demant said. “With seven straight McIlroy-Lewis Trophies, Pirate Athletics is obviously doing something right, so my goal is to see how we can take something that is great, and make it even better.”
Demant takes over the department from Melinda Larson, who served as interim director of athletics in 2013-14, following the departure of Aaron Leetch in June 2013. Demant intends to be in Spokane for the Whitworth Golf Classic fund-raiser on May 30, but will not begin his full-time duties until July 1.
Tim and his wife, Shannon, have three children, Joshua, Katelyn, and Janae.
“We’re eager to welcome Tim and his family to Spokane, and to introduce him to Pirate fans,” Taylor concluded. “I look forward to working with Tim to continue to build an already successful athletics program.”