(Columbia, S.C.) – Dr. Jerome Fitch has been named athletics director at Allen University. Fitch brings a wealth of knowledge and extensive experience in athletic administration, most recently at the Claflin University, where he was instrumental in the University's transition from a NAIA school to NCAA Division II by ensuring institutional compliance with all rules and regulations.
Prior to serving as Claflin University athletics director for nine years and director of compliance for three years, he served as athletics director at Alabama A&M University, where he directed the construction of the football stadium and rectified compliance issues with multiple sports. As athletic director, at Savannah State University, his fundraising efforts eliminated $197,000 in debt.
"Dr. Fitch's experience and leadership in NCAA athletics will serve as a strong fit for Allen University Yellow Jacket athletics," said Dr. Ernest McNealey, Allen University President. "His dedication to student-athletes, the advancement of HBCU athletics, and tremendous fundraising efforts align with our vision and trajectory as we prepare our student-athletes to thrive in NCAA Division II.
"Allen University currently sponsors 13 intercollegiate programs and was selected in July 2020 as the newest provisional member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II effective for the 2020-2021 academic year.
"The challenge of helping Allen transition into NCAA Division II is one that I felt I could be helpful in accomplishing," said Fitch, who has an accomplished history in athletics administration. "Knowing Dr. McNealey from time spent in the SIAC, and knowing his energy and support for University athletics, I knew that I wanted to be a part of the upward trajectory at Allen University.
"Dr. Fitch began his career as assistant athletics director, assistant men's basketball coach and sports information director at his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, in 1970. He later became the head men's basketball coach at Johnson C. Smith University, Voorhees College and Livingstone College. Dr. Fitch was also the head coach of the women's basketball team at Elizabeth City State University. Dr. Fitch has a Doctor of Education degree from South Carolina State University and a Master of Education degree from North Carolina Central University.