Roger Hughes has an unusual rude for a university president.

Before taking recently the rudder at Doane University, a private institution in Nebraska, he was the long-standing main football coach from Stetson University. He also worked as a main soccer coach at Princeton University for nine years.

"Execute a soccer team and run an organization as a university is very similar," Hughes said. "It's my job as president to delineate the vision and articulate the vision so that everyone else knows what its function is to help execute the vision."

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    The stories of university presidents who break the mold are becoming more common. The traditional path of Dean to Provost a president, followed by most academics, now has more detours, and people who take them are not always academics. Sometimes, they are business executives, civic leaders, former governors and members of Congress, rich donors, and, yes, former football coaches.

    The number of university presidents with experience in external academics has grown during the past decade. A 2018 study of the University of Virginia Commonwealth revealed that 40.5 percent of university presidents have never had holding or tenure positions. More and more presidents are reaching higher education institutions after spending their careers as entrepreneurs, military personnel and health professionals. That coaches are now part of the mixture is unsurpassed.

    Hughes is not even the first college athletic coach to become a university president, but the selection of him as president of Doane last month is the story of a personal dream. Full circle

    "I've always had this job at the bottom of my mind," Hughes said. "It really had two dream jobs. One, to be the head coach of Nebraska Football. Or two, being the president of Doa University."

    He graduated from Doane in 1982 with a double specialty in biology and physical education and a minor in mathematics. He first asked for a president of the university 10 years ago after leaving his training work in Princeton. When he was not selected by the position, he took a job as a main football coach in Stetson, a small private university in Florida, where he was asked to build a soccer program from scratch. googleg.cmd.push (function () googleg.display ("DFP-AD-Article_in_Article");); Do you want to announce? Click here

    "My job was to start literally from a desk and a phone, that was all I had on the first day, and I really built it in a conference contender," he said.

    At the end of its mandate in Stetson, Hughes achieved more than 160 direct reports and served as a link between the team and many facets of the university, including admissions, financial aid, housing, success of students, strength and conditioning, and health services. .

    "Through that interaction with all the different facets of the university, I realized much more with the way a university worked," Hughes said.

    He had also developed a good reputation on campus.

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