Former Tulsa Athletic Director (1990-1994) and current Tulane AD (2000-Present) Rick Dickson has announced that he’ll be retiring in May 2016.
At TU, Dickson was instrumental in forming a football scheduling alliance that developed into Conference USA, and the expansion of the Western Athletic Conference.
The Tulsa native and Bishop Kelley graduate was a student-athlete, playing both football and baseball for the Golden Hurricane. He began working for his alma mater in August 1988 and was named Athletic Director on March 7, 1990. In 1994, he left the program and moved on to Washington State (1994-2000).
At WSU, he oversaw an athletics program that was nationally recognized for its success in dealing with gender equity issues. He also helped raised money in a capital campaign for scholarships, an indoor practice facility and the renovation of the school’s gym. The Cougars’ football had success during his tenure, which highlighted the team's first Rose Bowl appearance in 67 years (1998).
At Tulane, he has served as the Green Wave’s AD, helping the program through hard times, including the havoc caused by Hurricane Katrina which nearly destroyed the school’s facilities. “Rick has the devotion, respect and love of the Tulane University community,” said Tulane President Mike Fitts. “Among his many achievements is bringing Green Wave athletics back from the evacuation of 300 student-athletes and the subsequent shutdown of several programs in 2005 to a full complement of 16 teams in 2007. Rick has been a tremendous resource to me as a new president and has helped me understand the complex issues surrounding intercollegiate athletics. I will miss him.”
During Dickson’s era, Tulane athletics has won 41 C-USA titles and advanced to NCAA postseason play 36 times. Under him, over the last 11 years, the program’s athletes scored well above their national averages in the NCAA’s Academic Performance Rates (APR).
Dickson is very active in the New Orleans community serving on the board of directors for the Fellowship Foundation, which helps underprivileged youth.
Personal Life: Dickson and his wife, Brenda, have four children, Doug, Kari, Kasi and Kelli who are all Tulane graduates.