UDC selects new Director of Intercollegiate
January 23, 2006
Washington, D.C. — The University of the District of
Columbia has appointed
Harold M. Merritt, Ed.D, as the new Director of Intercollegiate
Athletics. Dr. Merritt will join the staff of the only public
university in the nation’s capital in February following
seven years of service as the Director of Athletics, Intramurals,
and Athletic Facilities at the College of Staten Island (CSI)
in New York City.
Dr. Harold Merritt
“We couldn’t be more delighted to welcome Dr.
Merritt to the Firebird Country,” said Dr. William L.
Pollard, President of the University of the District of Columbia. “He
has the solid credentials and impeccable record of service
that make him well-suited to assume the leadership of our athletics
Dr. Merritt is scheduled to assume leadership of the University’s
Department of Intercollegiate Athletics in February. He will
replace Dr. Kelly J. Higgins, who has served as Interim Director
since November of 2004. Dr. Merritt has a distinguished career
in the management of athletics. Prior to his post at CSI, he
served as Director/Assistant Director and Youth Sports Program
Executive Director for the Department of Parks and Recreation
for the City of Houston, Texas. He has also coached men’s
basketball on the intercollegiate level at Northern Arizona
University, Morris Brown College, California State College – Long
Beach and University of New Orleans, holding the head coach
position at Northern Arizona and Morris Brown.
As Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Dr. Merritt will
be responsible for, among other duties, the management of the
day-to-day operations of the University’s Athletic Department,
which includes Men's and Women's Basketball, Men's and Women's
Cross-Country, Men's and Women's Soccer, Men's and Women's
Tennis and Women's Volleyball and other athletics programs.
“We see Dr. Merritt as an educator - a teacher,” said
Dr. Clemmie Solomon, Vice President of Student Affairs at the
University. “Someone who's going to emphasize academics
before athletics and who will put learning first. We wanted
to move in the direction of a high-caliber, experienced athletic
director, and Dr. Merritt fits that role. He has a doctorate
with an emphasis on sports management. We're getting an educational
leader with excellent credentials.”
Dr. Merritt’s qualifications are extensive and impressive.
While heading the sports program at CSI, Dr. Merritt built
an impressive record of accomplishments. CSI Teams won 23 City
University of New York Championships during his tenure while
earning 13 East Coast Athletic Conference and six NCAA Tournament
berths in a variety of sports. A native of Harlem, he spearheaded
the development of the Men of Color Action Group at CSI, and
has been an adjunct lecturer in History of the African American
"It's been a great, seven-year run,” said Dr. Merritt
in reflection of his tenure at CSI. “I was lucky enough
to work with a wonderful staff and a great bunch of student-athletes
and I hope that I have left a positive mark on the department
during my tenure. This opportunity at the University of the
District of Columbia is one that I am excited about."