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Xavier University of Louisiana Welcomes HBCU Veteran Nathan Cochran as Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation

Xavier University of Louisiana Welcomes HBCU Veteran Nathan Cochran as Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation
Posted By: Kennedy Williams on August 05, 2021

Xavier University of Louisiana announced Monday the appointment of Nathan Cochran as the new Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation. Cochran will join the staff effective Aug. 18, 2021. Cochran comes to Xavier from Kentucky State University, where he served as assistant head football coach and coordinator of recruiting and compliance for the past 2 1/2 years. KSU's 2019 team was NCAA Division II's most improved and produced the second-largest improvement by a Division II HBCU since the NCAA started compiling that statistic in 1996.

"I'm excited to welcome Nathan Cochran to the senior leadership team in Xavier's Division of Student Affairs," said Xavier Vice President of Student Affairs Curtis Wright. "Nathan brings a wealth of experiences both as a coach and athletic administrator that will immediately advance our departmental goals and aspirations. Our talented coaches and dynamic student-athletes, coupled with Nathan's amazing communication skills, blend perfectly to position Xavier as one of the powerhouse programs in the NAIA. We are proud to have him on our team."

Cochran replaces Jason Horn, who led Xavier Athletics for the past seven years. Cochran takes over a program that continues to excel and receive national acclaim while competing in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). During the past 10 years, Xavier teams won 65 conferences or NAIA unaffiliated group championships. They qualified 70 times for NAIA National Championship tournaments in basketball, competitive cheer, cross country, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. During that same stretch, nearly all senior student-athletes received degrees from Xavier or are still enrolled.

The Xavier Tennis Center, the Convocation Center and the Convocation Center Annex are among the best facilities in the NAIA.



The Convocation Center, which seats nearly 4,000, plays host to intercollegiate basketball, volleyball and cheer competitions.

Xavier produced its best-ever performance — 19th place and 503.5 points — in the NAIA Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings of 2020-21.

Cochran's professional career spans nearly 20 years as a collegiate administrator and coach of football and track and field. Almost 70 percent of his employment has been at HBCUs. His previous collegiate jobs were at Philander Smith, Paine, Alma, North Park, Avila, Lincoln (Mo.), Blackburn, Wisconsin-Platteville and Allen.

For slightly more than two years (2017-19), Cochran was director of athletics at Philander Smith, which competed in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC). At the time, Xavier was also a member of the GCAC. Cochran's Philander tenure included an improved website and athletic facilities, an increase in sports offerings from seven to nine, and the launch of a fundraising campaign and a hall of fame for athletics.

"I am truly honored to be selected as the Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation at Xavier University of Louisiana," Cochran said. "I am excited to work with Xavier's great coaches, athletics staff and tremendous student-athletes. I also look forward to developing relationships with the proud Xavier alumni and the New Orleans community.”

Cochran received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from South Carolina State in 2000 and a master's in management from Webster in 2003. He is currently working on receiving a doctorate in adult and higher education from Morehead State. He is a member of many organizations, including the American Football Coaches Association, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, USA Track & Field Georgia and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. As a youth in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, Cochran achieved Eagle Scout.

SOURCE: Xavier University of Louisiana
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