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Fort Lewis College selects Travis Whipple as director of athletics

Former basketball player starts July 18
Whipple, Travis

Fort Lewis College has selected Travis Whipple to be its new director of athletics, the college announced Tuesday. Whipple will assume his duties July 18.

“What an exciting time to join the community as we remain focused on enhancing the student-athlete experience,” Whipple said. “I have a passion for the mission of Fort Lewis College and a strong desire to build a premier program of excellence that is committed to graduating champions.”

Whipple brings more than 15 years of senior-level experience to Durango, serving most recently as the vice president of college relations at NCAA Dvision III Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota. At Crown College, Whipple provided oversight for fundraising, development, community and alumni relations while leading the department of athletics. He also represented the department at institutional, conference, regional and NCAA levels.

“Travis’ commitment to FLC’s mission, in addition to his professionalism and knowledge of NCAA Division II athletics and fundraising, make him a great addition to the leadership team,” said FLC President Tom Stritikus. “His big-picture thinking and attention to detail will make him a dynamic and reputable leader within the campus community.”

Whipple holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from Winona State University and an undergraduate degree earned in 2008. Upon completion of his education at WSU, he served as the assistant athletic director for external operations at his alma mater. He quickly grew in the role, amassing experience within the NCAA Division I and Division II ranks. Whipple has also made stops along the way at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, North Central and Oral Roberts University.

In addition to his prowess as an administrator, Whipple was also a highly touted men’s basketball student-athlete for the WSU Warriors. Whipple was an instrumental member of the two-time national champion Warriors squad (2006, 2008) while guiding his team to three Northern Sun Athletic Conference championships. He still ranks in the top 10 at WSU in career games played (144, second), three-point shooting percentage (44.06%, fourth), and assists (335, eighth).

Whipple’s time as a student-athlete, in conjunction with his years as an athletic administrator, blend together in his pursuit of greatness in all aspects of athletics. From winning on the field to performing well in the classroom and community, his vision presents a commitment to mentoring, supporting, and helping develop educated, well-rounded, and productive citizens who are highly employable and equipped to succeed in all aspects of life.

“I am thankful to President Stritikus and the search committee for allowing me the opportunity to lead the Skyhawks. We look forward to working with our student-athletes, coaches, and staff to make our campus, community, and alumni proud,” Whipple said.

Whipple and his wife, Kim, have a daughter, Mia, and a son, Kai.

Whipple replaces Brandon Leimbach, who began leading FLC during the 2019-2020 academic year. Leimbach accepted a position at the University of California, Irvine as executive director of development, athletics in university advancement in March, and FLC began a national search to find his replacement immediately.

Fort Lewis College thanked Athletics Staffing and Consultants for its efforts in the facilitation of the national search.