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Duquesne University Names David L. Harper as Director of Athletics

David L. Harper has been named director of athletics at Duquesne University. His combination of leadership, athletics expertise and fundraising achievements uniquely position him to strategically build Duquesne's program.

David Harper"It was very clear to me, and to those who met with Dave during the process, that he is an ideal fit for Duquesne. He is a leader and strategic thinker who understands how to build successful programs," said Dr. Charles Dougherty, Duquesne University president.  "His accomplishments reveal a person who embraces the importance of reaching out and personally engaging all of our constituents-alumni, fans, faculty, staff, students, benefactors and the media. Most importantly, Dave and I share the common vision that our athletic program should reflect the overall excellence and values of our University, and that it must be a fully integrated and vital part of the campus community."

In his current role as vice president for advancement at the University of Dayton, Harper is credited with reviving and significantly increasing alumni support and loyalty. Under his leadership, the university raised a record-breaking $66 million, including the largest single individual gift and largest corporate gift in Dayton's history.

"I am truly honored and humbled to be joining Duquesne University. Throughout the entire search process, I learned of the collective will and commitment to have an athletics program marked by academic success and competitive excellence," said Harper. "There is a very strong foundation to build upon, and I look forward to beginning the relentless pursuit to secure more robust success for the student-athletes, coaches, student body and alumni of Duquesne."

Harper has a long track record of success in athletics. Before being named vice president of advancement, Harper served in a variety of athletic administrative roles from 1998-2003 and 2005-2012, culminating in the role of associate vice president of athletics. He was responsible for external affairs and fundraising as well as men's basketball administration. Harper also assisted in the hiring process of numerous coaches-including men's basketball, volleyball and other sports-and scouted and identified candidates.

Under Harper's leadership, Dayton's Division of Athletics experienced increased revenues from donations, sponsorships and ticketing plans/sales. He successfully built and implemented comprehensive strategic plans for the university's sports programs and various athletic units, as well as several university external relations programs. Harper also served as sports program administrator for five sports. In addition, Harper was responsible for Dayton's media contracts, and the men's and women's media rights packages; securing exempt tournaments; and serving in various capacities during the NCAA tournament when hosted by the University of Dayton.

From 2003 to 2005, Harper served as assistant athletic director at the University of Michigan, and he began his career at Robert Morris University, where he served as an assistant football coach and defensive coordinator.

Harper earned a Master of Business Administration from Robert Morris University and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Wright State University. He and his wife, Melissa, have four sons. He will start at Duquesne in October.

About Duquesne Athletics

Duquesne competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Atlantic 10 Conference in all sports with the exception of football, which competes in the Northeast Conference. Its 17 sports teams include men's and women's basketball, cross-country, soccer, tennis, and indoor/outdoor track and field teams; men's football; and women's lacrosse, rowing, swimming, volleyball and bowling.

Duquesne's athletics program has made positive strides in recent years - improved facilities, greater financial resources, increased fund raising, the recruitment and retention of accomplished coaching and administrative personnel, and improved performance on the playing field and in the classroom. The University has committed new resources to athletics, partnering with generous donors to invest significantly in the program over the past decade.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.