Keri Gaither, a veteran athletic administrator with almost two decades of experience with Detroit Titan Athletics was named athletic director in May of 2007. Prior to being named AD, Gaither served as interim director for five months, and prior to that served as the senior associate athletic director and the senior woman administrator. In that role, she was second in command in the department and also managed the department’s business operations and the administration of nine women’s sports. In addition to her other responsibilities at UDM, Gaither was instrumental in the planning and implementation of women’s golf, a sport which has quickly seen much success finishing 2nd in the Horizon League Championship in 2007.
During her tenure, Gaither has held various positions within the department including assistant business manager, ticket manager, director of athletic/facilities/events, director of business operations, and assistant athletics director.
As a member of the Horizon League’s Executive Council, Gaither is actively involved with the work of the conference, and has served as the Second Delegate and a member of both the finance and television committees. She is also the council’s liaison to the sports information directors and served on the League’s transition team in preparation for the entry of Valparaiso University to the Horizon League. Gaither has held past appointments as chair of the awards committee, liaison to women’s soccer and softball, a member of the Equity committee, and a member of the strategic planning finance sub-committee.
While a member of the 2006 UDM Self-Study Steering Committee for NCAA Athletic Certification, Gaither also served on the Equity and Student-Athletic Welfare Sub-Committee and was designated the campus liaison during the certification process. Shortly after the University received its full certification in April, Gaither was asked by the NCAA to serve as a Peer-Review Team Member and will begin preparation this June.
Past University appointments include chairing UDM’s prioritization sub-committee and serving on various search committees. She is currently a Board Member for the University of Detroit Mercy’s Women’s Studies Program and serves on Women’s Studies Program Development Sub-committee. Gaither has also been a member of the 1988 & 1991 Local Organizing Committee for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional. Today, she serves as Chair of the Detroit Local Organizing Committee (DLOC) for the 2008 NCAA Men’s Basketball Midwest Regional and the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four, to be played at Ford Field in Detroit. Gaither also participated as a member of the Tourism Action Group (TAG) Hospitality Committee, a group organized by the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitor Bureau dedicated to training the hospitality industry for Detroit-area events such as the 2005 MLB All Star Game, Super Bowl XL, as well as and other future major events.
With her Native American heritage, Gaither recently completed the NCAA’s inaugural Leadership Institute for Ethnic Minority Females, a leadership development program sponsored by the NCAA Office for Diversity and Inclusion and the Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee. The Leadership Institute, designed to address the critical shortage of senior- level minority administrators at NCAA member institutions and conference offices, prepares diverse leaders through a 12-month leadership training and skills development experience.
Her commitment to the professional development of women in college athletics is evident through her role as a steering committee member of the Women’s Leadership Symposium for Intercollegiate Athletics. Gaither recently assisted in coordinating its national leadership conference. She is also a member of National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA).
Graduating magna cum laude from the University of Detroit Mercy, Gaither holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics. During her undergraduate studies, she was a two-time recipient of the College of Liberal of Arts’ Economics Student of the Year Award.
Gaither and her husband, Brad Trombley, have two children.