Ken Tyler Named New Director of Athletics at University of Mary Washington
Ken Tyler Named New Director of Athletics at University of Mary Washington
Ken Tyler has been named as the new Director of Athletics at the University of Mary Washington. Tyler comes to UMW after serving as Director of Athletics at West Virginia Wesleyan College, an NCAA Division II school, in Buckhannon, W.V. Tyler replaces Dr. Edward Hegmann, who will retire from the University after 36 years in June.

“I am delighted that Ken Tyler has accepted our offer to become our next Director of Athletics”, said UMW President Richard V. Hurley. “I am impressed by his experience, his enthusiasm and his ideas on how to advance our athletic program going forward.”

"We are looking forward to the leadership and enthusiasm that Ken Tyler will bring to the University of Mary Washington", said Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy.  "He has impressive experience and a proven track record of success...  His passion for working with both coaches and teams and high level of energy to advance the University will move UMW Athletics forward with purpose and a clear vision for the future."

Tyler had been at West Virginia Wesleyan since July of 2008, overseeing the largest athletic department in the state of West Virginia, with over 500 student-athletes and 19 varsity sports. While in Buckhannon, Tyler's programs swept the President's and Commissioner's Cups for overall athletic excellence in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference each year of his tenure.

"I am grateful and honored to be named Director of Athletics at the University of Mary Washington,” said Tyler. “I want to thank President Hurley, Vice-President Searcy, and all the members of the search committee for this wonderful opportunity. Mary Washington's outstanding academic reputation, combined with its strong and broad-based athletic program, makes this one of the best small-college positions in the country.” He added, “Ed Hegmann and the terrific coaching staff have laid a very solid foundation, and I look forward to working with everyone to take the program to the next level.  My family and I are excited to join the Eagle family, and I can't wait to get started!”

At WVWC, he added the sport of women's lacrosse and created the position of Director of Compliance and Academic Services, and made facility improvements for department offices, stadium, arena, locker rooms, and baseball, softball, and soccer fields. In addition, he created a student-athlete lounge and academic support area. Other improvements made under Tyler's tenure included the acquisition of a 25-passenger bus with a professional driver to replace coach-driven 15-passenger vans, and the institution of mandatory institutional drug-testing for randomly selected student-athletes.  

Tyler's strategic plan included adding full-time assistant coach positions for team sports, and launching a new athletics web site. The success of the programs were immediate, as the football team improved from 1-10 during Tyler's first year to 9-2 in 2010 and 2011, including undefeated records at home both seasons. The men's basketball team went from eight wins in 2010 to 19 wins and the NCAA Tournament in 2011, the second-biggest turnaround in Division II. This winter, the Bobcat women's basketball team finished 23-7, won the program's first-ever WVIAC tournament championship and received the program's first-ever NCAA tournament berth. The 2011-12 men's basketball team finished 22-9, and won Wesleyan's first-ever NCAA tournament game.

With Tyler at the helm, Wesleyan won 22 WVIAC championships. In 2010-11, the Bobcats finished #76 nationally in the Division II Learfield Director's Cup standings, the best finish in school history and tops in the WVIAC. That same year, Wesleyan finished fifth in the nation in student-athletes recognized on the Academic Honor Roll of the Division II Athletic Directors Association. The Bobcats have also been extremely active in community engagement activities.

Tyler served on the Division II Athletic Directors Association (ADA) Board of Directors as the WVIAC representative. He was also the Atlantic Region Chair on the Division II National Men's Basketball Committee. He has served as vice-chair of WVIAC athletic directors and served as chair of the WVIAC Basketball Tournament Committee. He arrived at Wesleyan after a seven-year stay at Shepherd University, where he served as Head Men's Basketball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director.
Prior to his time at Shepherd, Tyler spent six years at Albright (PA) College, serving as the Head Men's Basketball coach and Assistant Director of Athletics.  He also had one-year stints as assistant men's basketball coach at East Stroudsburg University (PA), Roanoke (VA) College and James Madison University under legendary coach "Lefty” Driesell .

An aggressive and successful fund raiser, Tyler spearheaded significant facility upgrade campaigns at Shepherd and Albright. At Wesleyan, he launched the Corporate Partner Program, the Letterman's Club, and the Hank Ellis Golf Classic, which raised over $75,000 annually for Wesleyan athletics. Tyler was an active board member in the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle, serving as campaign chairman from 2006-08 and raising over $3 million.

Tyler earned a bachelor of arts in history and a master's degree in education from The College of William and Mary. He was a guard on the basketball team at Division I William and Mary, where he played against all-time greats Len Bias and David Robinson.

Tyler is an avid reader and a Civil War enthusiast. He and his wife Dawn have two children, son Jordan (14) and daughter Logan (10).