SPRINGFIELD – Former student services coordinator for Clark State Community College’s northern region has officially achieved a lifetime career goal: to become an athletic director.
Graham High School graduate Justin McCulla officially took the reigns as director of athletics and student life for Clark State on July 18.
“This has been a career goal of mine since graduating college,” said McCulla. “I have a passion for both athletics and the opportunity to help student-athletes form their lives through academics and intercollegiate athletics.”
Dr. Ed Busher, dean of student support services for Clark State, said McCulla was very successful in coordinating the student services operations at the Clark State Bellefontaine campus where he helped increase enrollment by more than 20 percent. “He has a complete understanding of student needs in regard to academic programs and student services.”
McCulla brings leadership and a philosophy to the AD position that includes identifying and recruiting local student-athletes and providing guidance and academic support to enhance their success. “I want to see our student-athletes demonstrate sportsmanship, class and outstanding athletic and academic performances,” he said.
McCulla attended Wittenberg University and transferred to Urbana University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in sports administration management in 2008. He earned a master of education from Urbana University in 2013.
“I bring a variety of experiences to the athletic department,” McCulla said. “I played college baseball at Wittenberg University and Urbana University. I am an experienced coach and sports official, as well as an experienced higher education professional. From my time in higher education, I have experience with the day-to-day operations of admissions, recruiting, financial aid and advising.”
McCulla’s short-term goals include recruiting more student-athletes and retaining and graduating student-athletes as they move on to a four-year institution or a career of their choice. His long-term goals include creating a more competitive athletic program, adding more sports teams to attract more local high school graduates and improving the Clark State athletic facilities.
Busher said McCulla will be a great resource for the coaches and student-athletes. “He is a very personable, solid recruiter and will provide leadership for the coaches at Clark State,” he said.
McCulla’s offices will be located in Rhodes Hall 217 and the Athletic Office in ASC near the gymnasium. “I want create an enjoyable culture here at Clark State for our student-athletes,” said McCulla. “This includes having a smooth transition into Clark State, having the opportunity to play their sport of choice and having fun—all while completing their degree.”