Allison Rich, whose graduation from Princeton started her on a path in which she has hands-on experience in basically every area of intercollegiate athletic administration, is returning to her alma mater for the next chapter in her distinguished career.
Rich has been named Princeton’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance, Campus Relations and Student Athlete Welfare, Ford Family Director of Athletics Gary Walters announced. She replaces Anthony Archbald, who became the Executive Associate Athletic Director when Erin McDermott left to become the Director of Athletics at the University of Chicago.
Rich will also have the title of Senior Woman Administrator on the staff, a position formerly held by McDermott.
“Since her graduation from Princeton in 1991, Allison Rich has achieved a distinguished academic background, complemented by an equally compelling professional career as an athletic administrator,” Walters says. “Allison will strengthen our senior athletic administrative team because she brings a wealth of relevant experience to this position. Also, as the Senior Woman Administrator, she can help to mentor and coach other professionals within the athletics department to achieve their professional goals.”
Rich graduated from Princeton with a degree in history, and her senior thesis was entitled “A Cultural Analysis of the Chicago Stockyards.”
She went from Princeton to the Chicago-Kent College of Law, earning a J.D. in 1995. She then earned a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of the Pacific in 2002, with a dissertation entitled “A Political Analysis of Institutional Control Issues Within the NCAA.”
She combined that seemingly perfect educational background with positions at Loyola University in Chicago, at the NCAA itself and for seven years at Pacific, where she became the Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Affairs.
Her next stop was at Cal State Fullerton, where she was the Deputy Director of Athletics and Senior Woman Administrator for five years. As had been the case at Pacific, she worked in areas such as budget, strategic planning, judicial affairs, risk management and personnel development, with oversight of athletic training, facilities, ticketing, compliance, eligibility and other areas.
Rich would then move to Florida State as Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator. While in Tallahassee, her responsibilities included oversight of all external operations, including marketing and promotions, sponsorship and sports information. She also worked in licensing and branding, negotiated television contracts, expanded the department’s social media efforts.
In addition to working in those areas, she was also overseeing NCAA compliance and eligibility issues while also serving as administrative overseer of the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
She has spent the last two years working as a consultant across the country on numerous college campuses, providing assistance in any number of areas related to NCAA certification, strategic planning, legal issues, hiring and staffing, marketing and ticketing, media and communications, conference realignment and others.
“It’s very special for me to return to Princeton, a school that has so many great memories for me,” Rich says. “In addition to that, I admire the department’s overwhelming athletic success within the league and nationally coupled with the commitment to the highest level of integrity and professionalism in the way it conducts its business. I am looking forward to being a part of that, as well as doing what I can to help Princeton’s athletes have the best possible undergraduate experience they can as a continuation of the department’s motto of ‘Education Through Athletics.’ I would like to thank Gary Walters and the rest of the search committee for giving me this opportunity. I am looking forward to getting started.”
In addition to overseeing Princeton’s compliance efforts, she will also work as the department’s top liaison to such on-campus departments as the Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Students and the Office of the Dean of Campus Life.