BREAKING: Karlton Creech named DU Athletic Director

Photo:Courtesy of Bangor Daily News

Karlton Creech, Director of Athletics at the University of Maine, has been named as the University of Denver’s new Vice-Chancellor for Athletics and Recreation. Creech will replace Peg Bradley-Doppes, who had already announced her impending retirement in June of 2018, after building the University of Denver into the top non-football athletic department in the nation in the 13 years since her arrival at DU in 2005.

According to, Creech came to UMaine in February 2014 from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (UNC), where he was Senior Associate Director of Athletics and had 10 years of senior athletics administration experience. Since 2012, he had been UNC Senior Associate Director of Athletics, serving as Chief of Staff and overseeing the department’s capital projects, human resources and facilities. From 2004-12, he was Associate Executive Director for UNC’s Educational Foundation Inc., where he managed capital projects (including coordination of the $88 million football stadium expansion), the Annual Fund, marketing, fundraising and ticket sales programs, as well as donor stewardship and development. He also worked for the Student-Aid Association at North Carolina State University from 2001-04, coordinating ticket sales and fundraising.

Creech, a native of Chapel Hill, received a bachelor’s degree in political science from North Carolina State University, and a master’s degree in management and leadership from Liberty University. His wife, Staci, is a Pennsylvania native who attended UNC on a golf scholarship and received a bachelor of arts in elementary education.

Interestingly, on Jan. 20, 2017, Creech signed a four-year contract to stay at the University of Maine, effective Feb. 10, 2017. Many Blackbear fans are still remorseful that hockey coach Jim Montgomery matriculated to DU instead of returning to his alma mater to coach. Now, Denver has become the destination of their acting athletic director,

Maine sponsors 17 sports and, like Denver, men’s ice hockey is their featured sport.

Peg Bradley-Doppes has guided the Denver Pioneers to seven NCAA Championships, nine NCAA I-AAA Directors’ Cups, 97 conference titles, 69 coach of the year honors and numerous national rankings since being appointed the University’s 12th Director of Athletics and Recreation on March 28, 2005. A 36-year veteran of NCAA Division I programs where she served as a head coach for 11 years and an athletics’ administrator for 25 years, Bradley-Doppes served as Director of Athletics and Recreation at DU her first season prior to being promoted to Vice Chancellor of Athletics and Recreation and Ritchie Center Operations in July of 2006.

This story will be updated following the 10:00 announcement this morning.

12 thoughts on “BREAKING: Karlton Creech named DU Athletic Director”

  1. It’s always hard to lose someone like PBD who has done a hell of a job over her tenure. Creech appears excited to come elevate the AD even higher, although I always take pause when someone takes a job like this with (apparently) zero roots to DU, the state or even the region. I get weary because too often I have seen similar scenarios in which schools like DU are used as a brief stepping stone to another job (i.e. UNC/NCST for Creech). I certainly hope this will not be the case. Either way if we are in a better place 5 years from now I will be happy. Retaining Coach Monty and easing the transition as Tierney retires will be key in the near future.

    Go Pios!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So here we go…

    Welcome Creech. We are Pioneers. Don’t forget that.

    Our AD faces enormous challenges.

    Basketball conference situation & men’s basketball program as always are a hot mess. Solutions appear to be almost impossible.

    NHL teams poaching Monty are a real threat.

    Fundraising appears to be on the upswing, but tens of millions are going to be needed to upgrade Hoops & I’d suggest that Magness needs a major upgrade.

    It remains to be seen if Chopper is fully committed to Athletics. Best solution would be for her to stay out of the way, fully fund Athletics & keep her team of Multicultural warriors under control.

    On the positive front, DU has a stable of incredible coaches.

    Gymnastics, Hockey, Men’s Soccer, Skiing & Lacrosse programs are among the best in the county. Several other programs are on the upswing.

    #endDUMaskBan #BringBackBoone #Pioneers4Ever

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have to assume that Mr. Creech impressed DU. It could be a situation where DU was hoping to find a rising star, rather than an established star. But there is nothing in the article that particularly jumps out at me with respect to his qualifications. And DU is a very big step up from Maine, in terms of athletics, quality of coaches, track record of success, national championships…pretty much everything. I hope he is up to the task.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. He has big shoes to fill. PBD was amazing. She’ll be missed.

    Obviously working at UNC and attending North Carolina State suggest basketball is in Creech’s DNA. If he fixes & upgrades DU Hoops, he will be considered a miracle worker.

    Love the fact that he comes from Maine from the hockey perspective. Maine hockey is the #1 sport in the state & while the Black Bears struggled under his reign, DU hockey has far more resources & recruiting advantages. That being said, the DU game night experience needs some swagger. Look to the Ralph for game night inspiration.

    He won’t have to spend one second working on college football which for a Non-Power Five conference member is a money draining pig.

    Extremely doubtful any Power Five university would ever poach a Non-Football AD in this day & age.

    All in all a good hire. If he helps us out with a Pioneer looking mascot solution, I’ll be willing to reassess as a great hire.


  5. Seems like a solid hire. He emphasized the importance of alumni engagement – not only in fundraising but alumni involvement in athletics and the athletic department. That was a great sign. Also, he is going to manage in a similar way to Peg – the coaches and athletes will be the face of DU athletics. While he said he is very comfortable being in public, he prefers that the focus be on coaches and athletes which is a positive message in my view. You never know in these things – time will tell.


  6. Seems like a very promising hire but one nagging concern that did not receive any mention in coverage of the announcement was the academic scandals involving the UNC athletic department that would seem to overlap with his time there. Hopefully Creech had no role in those matters despite oversight of human resources.

    Liked by 1 person

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