Eastern Michigan University President James M. Smith has named Mississippi State University Deputy Director of Athletics Scott Wetherbee(pronounced WEATHER-bee) as Eastern Michigan University Vice President and Director of Athletics. A native of Kalamzoo, Mich., Wetherbee's official start date will be announced in the coming weeks.
"Scott Wetherbee is highly regarded in the industry and was recently identified as among the best of the best upcoming athletic directors in the country," Smith said. "His enthusiasm for this position, his roots in Michigan, and his background and experience are ideally suited to continue to move Eastern Michigan athletics forward. I am confident he will build on the outstanding accomplishments of the last several years and will continue to lead Eastern's proud history of student excellence and success on the fields of play and in the classroom."
With more than 20 years of collegiate athletic administrative experience, the 42-year-old Wetherbee has a track record of enhancing every department he has served. A veteran in the world of athletic administration, he becomes Eastern Michigan's 14th athletic director after spending the past four years at Mississippi State University, including serving as the department's interim director of athletics from October-November 2016.
"This is a great opportunity to join a University with a rich history of success and a deep commitment to intercollegiate athletics," said Wetherbee. "It is clear that the priority at Eastern Michigan is the academic success of all students and we plan to continue to achieve that among student athletes, while also providing a positive and winning environment for success in their sports. My family and I are extremely excited to join and make an impact in the Ypsilanti and Washtenaw community. I am looking forward to continuing the work already underway on the Championship Building Plan and will work with everyone in the Eastern community to ensure its success."
Wetherbee joins an Athletics Department that posted its best finish ever at 81st in the Learfield Directors' Cup Division I Standings, surpassing the 2002-03 campaign when it finished 86th. Overall, Eastern Michigan captured five Mid-American Conference championships in 2016-17 and boasts a conference-best 139 MAC team championships since 1973. Five more EMU teams finished as runner up for a league championship, while 29 individuals student-athletes claimed MAC titles. Furthermore, Eastern led the conference last year with 73 athletes earning All-MAC honors and a total of 179 collecting Academic All-MAC honors.
He has spent 17 years on the senior or executive staffs at four athletic departments, including MSU, East Carolina University, San Diego State University, and Fresno State University.
Recently named one of College AD's 2017 NEXT UP honorees, Wetherbee was picked as one of 13 senior level administrators who are believed to be ready to take the next step by some of the most respected athletic directors in the industry.
MSU's senior associate athletic director of external affairs from 2013 until May 2017, Wetherbee has developed MSU's external unit into one of the most elite and recognized in all of college athletics. Recently promoted in June 2017 to Deputy Director of Athletics, he has built a department with the hiring of more than 20 new employees to cultivate a culture of innovation and brand consistency.
In 2015 and 2016, MSU's marketing department became the first back-to-back winner of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators (NACMA) Marketing Team of the Year. Meanwhile, MSU's Athletic Media Relations department was the recipient of the 2015 Football Writers Association of America's Super 11 Award.
Wetherbee has played a pivotal role in the growth of MSU Athletics since his arrival, serving on the executive staff that provides oversight to all 16 of the Bulldogs' varsity sports and overseeing an annual budget of $87 million. He has spearheaded all aspects of MSU's external department, including marketing, media relations, video, equipment, facilities, game operations, licensing, adidas, Gatorade, and served as liaison to Bulldog Sports Properties – the department's third-party rights holder. He successfully negotiated new deals with Learfield, adidas, and Gatorade.
Wetherbee served as MSU's liaison to the SEC Network. With that responsibility, he established a department that produced more than 100 live digital broadcasts during the 2016-17 athletic year. He was also the sport administrator for the Bulldogs' baseball and volleyball programs.
In addition, he oversaw all branding, graphic, venue marketing, and video elements of MSU's athletic facilities. That included the creation of a new $1.3 million video board and hustle boards for Humphrey Coliseum, the vision for the largest videoboard in college baseball at Dudy Noble Field and new graphics in Davis Wade Stadium, Nusz Park, MSU Golf Facility, MSU Soccer Fieldhouse, and the Humphrey Coliseum locker rooms.
Wetherbee arrived in Starkville, Miss. after spending 10 years as an assistant athletic director at East Carolina where he directed the department's marketing and ticket operations. He was part of an administrative team that led a $60 million expansion and development project of ECU Athletic facilities since 2008. In 2011, his marketing ticket vision produced ECU football records in per game attendance (50,012), total attendance (300,069), and season ticket sales (24,188). He assisted the Pirate Club in increasing unrestricted annual giving by over 56 percent and membership growth by 78 percent.
Wetherbee was no stranger to developing brand strategies before his arrival at MSU. He served on multiple committees of East Carolina's strategic planning process, and he was charged with creating a branding initiative to facilitate a consistent message through the department. He worked extensively with IMG Sports to expedite contracts and sponsorship agreements, and he developed a technology team to coordinate social media initiatives.
From 2002-03, Wetherbee served as the assistant athletic director for ticket operations at San Diego State University. He directed ticket sales, oversaw the ticket office's budget, and served on the department's senior staff. One of his many accomplishments at SDSU was the designing and implementation of the men's basketball's reseating process, which allocated seats based on existing donor levels and the priority points system.
Prior to his stint at San Diego State, Wetherbee spent three years at Fresno State, serving as assistant athletic ticket manager from 1999-2000 before being promoted to athletic ticket manager in 2000. He directed all ticket sales and operations for over 100 athletic and special events annually and maintained the department's budget. In addition to supervising the staff, Wetherbee created, designed, and maintained Fresno State's first online ticket office – GoBulldogs.com.
Wetherbee got his start in athletics as a ticket office intern at Mid-American Conference rival Western Michigan University before spending two years as a graduate assistant in the Ball State University athletic ticket office.
Wetherbee earned a Bachelor's degree in sports administration from Ball State in May 1997. He started his collegiate career at Ferris State University as a student-athlete on the baseball team before the program was discontinued.
He and his wife, Tracy, have two children: Taylor and Spencer.