Highlighting leadership development in our three-part 2016-17 recap of the school year.
Highlighting purpose in our three-part 2016-17 recap of the school year.
The Waves have three Associate Directors of Athletics and promoted four to Assistant Director of Athletics.
The women's cross country, women's swimming and diving, women's tennis, women's track and women's volleyball teams were honored.
Jennifer Karson given standing ovation upon receiving the Maurice Hilliard Award.
A long-time administrator and professor at Pepperdine and a former Director of Athletics at Lipscomb University, Dr. Steve Potts was elevated to the position of Director of Athletics at Pepperdine in January 2011.
Potts returned to Pepperdine in July 2008 as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics after serving as the Director of Athletics at Lipscomb University for 8 1/2 years.
Since becoming Director of Athletics, the Waves have won 33 conference regular-season or tournament titles (through the 2016-17 school year). Under his watch, Pepperdine added the sport of women's beach volleyball (which won the inaugural 2012 AVCA national championship, and again in 2014).
Pepperdine earned the I-AAA Athletic Director's Association All-Sports Award (given to the top-performing non-football school in the country) in 2011-12 and finished in second place in 2016-17 and third place in 2014-15.
Most of Pepperdine's teams have posted remarkable accomplishments during Potts' tenure. The baseball team advanced to a Super Regional for the first time in 2014. In 2015, the men's basketball team made its first postseason appearance since 2002. In 2017, the men's golf team had its best finish at the NCAA Championships since 2004. The women's soccer team matched its best-ever finish by reaching the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2014. The women's tennis made it to the NCAA quarterfinals in 2016 and 2017, equaling the program's best-ever result. The indoor women's volleyball team made it to the Elite Eight for the second time in program history in 2011.
When Potts took over at Lipscomb in January 2000, the school was in the midst of making the transition from the NAIA to NCAA Division I. He successfully guided the athletics department through four years of NCAA Division I provisional membership, and Lipscomb received active membership status in September 2003. He also led the institution through the 18-month NCAA Athletic Certification process, which was completed in 2005.
Potts was responsible for Lipscomb joining the Atlantic Sun Conference, and several of its teams won conference championships over the years. In 2008, Lipscomb hosted the Atlantic Sun Conference Basketball Championships, the first combined men's and women's postseason tournament in conference history.
Several major improvements to the athletics facilities came under his watch, including the multi-purpose, 5,000-seat Allen Arena, which was completed in October 2001. The baseball and soccer complexes were improved and a new weight room and a softball field were also constructed.
Before his time at Lipscomb, Potts spent 17 years at Pepperdine. He began teaching in Pepperdine's law school in 1983 and from 1990-99 he served as the Associate Dean of Administration and an Assistant Professor of Law.
Potts is a native of Nashville and earned his bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Tennessee-Martin in 1979. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Jurisprudence degree from Pepperdine in 1982.
He and his wife Jaimie (who earned her undergraduate and master's degrees from Pepperdine) have two sons, Tyler (a Pepperdine graduate) and Tanner.