NDSU women's athletic director to retire in 2015
FARGO - The women's athletic department had two full-time coaches and a handful of part-time staff members when Lynn Dorn began her administrative career at North Dakota State. That was in 1976.
FARGO – The women’s athletic department had two full-time coaches and a handful of part-time staff members when Lynn Dorn began her administrative career at North Dakota State. That was in 1976.
On Friday, she announced her retirement effective March of 2015. It will bring to an end a successful run that started with a pioneering spirit when athletic director Ade Sponberg appointed her as the women’s athletic director.
Fast forward to the Division I mid-major machine of today and the growth is immeasurable.
“It’s been a lifestyle for me,” Dorn said.
Her lifestyle will not necessarily leave athletics when she leaves NDSU. She plans on watching her nieces and nephews play sports. She wants to spend more time with her father. She may help a niece with a start-up business in south Fargo.
She may try to do something to help girls get involved in sports.
“My real passion is to do something with young women and girls in the community and get them engaged to be involved and play,” Dorn said. “I think I need to redirect my energies.”
With NDSU beginning a second decade of Division I athletics, the timing was right, she said. In her tenure, NDSU teams won seven national titles, 62 North Central Conference championships, 36 Summit League titles and nine all-sports conference trophies.
Perhaps the first national title, a Division II women’s basketball championship in 1991, will stand out.
“It is a definition of a moment in time,” she said.
Her departure continues a recent trend of management and coaching overhaul at NDSU. Most notably, athletic director Gene Taylor resigned to take the deputy director of athletics position at the University of Iowa.
She said she had been thinking about retiring for a while. NDSU staff members were notified Friday.
“I just have so much energy and passion left, I’m just so blessed that I’m healthy,” she said. “You’re looking at another decade starting at NDSU and I said, ‘You know what, Lynn, now is a good time.’ ”
When she started, NDSU only had head coaches in volleyball and basketball. Those two programs evolved to elite Division II programs in the 1980s and 1990s with basketball winning five national titles.
The school began a Division I reclassification in 2003 and started a Division I schedule in 2004. The school has grown to be a Summit title contender in softball, men’s and women’s track and field and cross country, soccer, volleyball and golf.
About the only program that has lagged in the Division I era is basketball.
In her time, NDSU has had 138 All-Americans in six sports.
“But what it’s really been about is watching young people grow and mature,” she said.