UWA athletic director Outlaw retiring

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 2, 2005

LIVINGSTON- UWA Athletic Director Dee Outlaw has announced today that he will retire his fulltime position at West Alabama effective July 1, 2006. Outlaw became the school’s first sports information director in 1973, and has spent his entire professional career since working for Tiger Athletics. He will remain with the Athletic Department in a part-time role as Director of Compliance.

“I have spent 33 years of my life working in the Athletic Department here at UWA,” said Outlaw. “UWA Athletics is and always will be my second family. Much of the time, I was given a roll of quarters to play in a $100 poker game. Now, the University has graciously given us the means to win with increased scholarship budgets, better facilities, and we finally have removed teaching duties from our coaches.”

“All of these changes will help us and it is time for a younger person to step in and take us to a higher level. I have been very fortunate to work with some of the most dedicated people I have ever known. They have done so much with so little. The alumni and fans should shake the hands of all of our coaches for the jobs they do. I look forward to being able to spend more time with my children and my grandchildren.”

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After 21 years successfully promoting UWA Athletics, Outlaw served a two-year stint as Assistant Athletic Director before taking over as the fulltime athletic director in 1994. Through the course of his service to UWA, Outlaw has staffed thousands of athletic events and has been present at every UWA football game for the last 34 years, a streak that currently stands at 359 consecutive games.

During his tenure as sports information director, Outlaw was one of the most well-known SIDs in the country, publicizing an Olympic Athlete, over 40 All-Americans and over 200 All-GSC honorees. As athletic director, he was influential in the development of the recently completed UWA Softball Complex and helped spearhead the addition of men’s and women’s intercollegiate rodeo and cross country, as well as the re-introduction of men’s and women’s tennis. He also played a big role in UWA getting new lights for Tiger Stadium, as West Alabama played home football under the lights this year for the first time since 1999.

Outlaw was a 2003 inductee into the UWA Athletic Hall of Fame, and is currently serving a four-year term on the NCAA Division II Management Council. He also serves on the NCAA Olympic Sports Liaison Committee and the Division II Convention Planning Project Team.

The Jackson, Ala., native comes from a long line of UWA alumni, including his father, aunt, three brothers, sister-in-law and eight cousins. Outlaw is the father of two daughters, Shawn, who is married and lives in Jackson, and Jessica. He also has three grandsons, Zackary, Jacob and Simon.

“I personally wish to thank Dee for his many years of service,” said UWA President Richard Holland. “He has represented the University well during his tenure, especially within the Gulf South Conference and the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The University is also most appreciative of Dee’s many contributions to the institution, especially the athletic program. His tenure will be noted for his professionalism, hard work and dedication.”

“Dee has been a terrific Management Council rep, brining his strong advocacy skills to the table and providing us with up-to-date reports about everything from regionalization to legislative proposals,” said Gulf South Conference Commissioner Nate Salant. “He is very popular with everyone, and quickly finds a way to befriend anyone who seeks a working relationship with him.”

“Some individuals advance by being in the right place at the right time. Others advance on merit; in Dee’s case, ‘Merit’ began with a capital ‘M’ for 30 years. He will be sorely missed by everyone. Knowing Dee to be the great baseball fan that he is, I think the best way to sum up Dee’s retirement is the way Branch Rickey once summed up Hall-of-Famer: he can be substituted for, but he can never be replaced.”

A committee, chaired by Dr. Joe Wilkins, has been formed to begin a national search for a replacement. The job will be advertised in January with the full intention to have someone in place by July 1.