Jacksonville University Senior Associate Athletic Director for Compliance and Student-Athlete Services Alex Ricker-Gilbert was promoted to the role of Athletic Director on May 1, 2016, replacing former Chief Athletics Officer Dr. Donnie Horner, who led the athletic department from 2014-2016.
Ricker-Gilbert was named the Associate Athletic Director of Compliance and Student-Athlete Services in November of 2014, and the Senior Associate Director on Jan. 8, 2016. He came to Jacksonville having spent the previous three years at Longwood.
"I'm ecstatic to lead the Athletic Department and thank President Cost for the opportunity,'' Ricker-Gilbert said. "For the past couple years I have had the benefit of Dr. Horner's mentoring and it has been a pleasure working with him. I look very forward to building on the great foundation of improvements laid by Dr. Horner in the future.''
Prior to his post at Jacksonville, Ricker-Gilbert served as the Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance and Student-Services at Longwood University. Over the last three years, Ricker-Gilbert held Longwood’s senior compliance officer position for its 14 Division I programs. He also served as an academic advisor for softball, men’s soccer, along with men’s and women’s cross country. In addition, he served as the sport supervisor for the cross country programs. Ricker-Gilbert oversaw the scholarship budget, served as the SAAC Advisor, and was the liaison to financial aid, the registrar, admissions, and housing.
Chief Athletics Officer Dr. Donnie Horner was enthusiastic in his praise of Ricker-Gilbert, “Alex is a wonderful addition to our staff and the University. He knows the NCAA compliance business inside-out, and his hands-on knowledge of all facets of student-athlete support services is an immense plus. Alex has been at a host of great institutions -- Penn State, Villanova, West Chester, Longwood, and others -- and will hit the ground running on November 11th, and we’re proud to welcome him as a Dolphin.”
Before Longwood, Ricker-Gilbert worked as the interim Compliance Director at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne. At IPFW, he oversaw the development, implementation, and enforcement of the compliance program, conducted all rules education meetings with coaches, coordinated all academic operations for incoming freshmen, transfers and returning student-athletes, created and implemented new processes and procedures as necessary per NCAA legislation, provided all NCAA interpretations to coaches, staff and support groups, boosters, and student-athletes, and completed conference and NCAA required reports and waivers among his various other responsibilities.
While completing his master’s degree at West Chester University, Ricker-Gilbert worked as an intern in both the Villanova and West Chester University athletic departments. At Villanova, he coordinated community service events for the student-athletes, assisted with senior preparatory programming, facilitated SAAC activities, and assisted in the coordination of the Champs/Life Skills program. At West Chester, he assisted in the oversight of the compliance program for WCU’s 24 athletic teams. Ricker-Gilbert maintained the compliance website, reviewed and updated eligibility documentation for student-athletes through the NCAA Eligibility Center and LSDBI, reported on the academic success rate of student-athletes, and served as an academic mentor for the Athletic Mentor program for WCU student-athletes.
A native of Tolland, Connecticut, Ricker-Gilbert earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with Pennsylvania teaching certification in health and physical education from Penn State University in 2009. In 2011, he earned his Masters of Public Administration degree with a Graduate Certificate in Sport Management and Athletics from West Chester.
What They’re Saying
“When Alex was at IPFW, I saw first-hand his leadership potential and knew he was going to accomplish great things in college athletics. What a great hire for the Dolphins!" -- Tommy Bell, Athletic Director, Southern Illinois University
"Alex is an extremely bright and talented administrator. He works hard to provide the best experience for student-athletes while remaining mindful of the ideals and values of the institution. I believe he is one of the best young professionals the country." – Troy Austin, Athletic Director, Longwood University
“Alex has the unique ability to connect with people very quickly. I worked with him for just a short time at IPFW but it didn't take long to respect how hard-working, caring, and knowledgeable he is about this industry and more importantly, the people in it. He deals with issues and people with the immense integrity.”-- Kelley Hartley Hutton, Athletic Director, IPFW
"Alex Ricker-Gilbert is one of the brightest young professionals in NCAA Division I intercollegiate athletics. As Jacksonville’s next Director of Athletics, he will lead with integrity, tenacity, innovation, and excellence. A championship decision for JU.” – Michelle Meadows, Senior Associate AD/SWA at Longwood University
“Alex has been an active member of the National Association of Athletics Compliance serving on its Legislation and Governance Committee for the last three years. As a result, he genuinely understands the big picture of college sports. He has been deeply involved in evaluating the many changes that have directly impacted compliance professionals and college athletics over the last few years. Alex is a hard worker who is eager to be part of the process and always acts with integrity; I cannot think of someone better to serve in an athletics director role.” -- Kate M. Charipar, Assistant Athletics Director for Compliance, University of Utah