Dean C Snider
Whitman College’s athletics director Dean Snider has overseen a renaissance. When Snider took over the position in the fall of 2006, Whitman athletics struggled with recruiting, suffered from low attendance at sporting events and wasn’t a college priority.
Under Snider’s tenure, Whitman has developed $30 million in new facilities, including the fabulously modern Baker Faculty Fitness Center and a complete renovation of Sherwood Athletic Center. Snider also founded a high-powered alumni board that has produced about $4 million in new athletic endowment. These transformations have led to new coaches and improved recruiting that over time has seen Whitman athletics thrive nationally. The 2011-12 seasons saw 5 teams represented at the NCAA III Championships and a #2 ranking in the NWC for points per team. In that same year there were 8 All-Americans, three NWC coaches of the years and three student-athletes are currently competing professionally in Germany, Ecuador and Holland, just a few examples of the many individual highlights.Thanks to Snider’s leadership, Whitman is now recognized for its athletic prowess as well as its academic rigor. Whitman is now considered an athletic power in the Northwest Conference and nationally in the NCAA III. This transition has taken place not at the expense of Whitman’s national academic reputation, but in tandem with the college’s academic excellence.
Whitman’s student-athletes also have a 91% graduation rate and 40% of them hold a 3.5 GPA or higher.
In addition to his role as athletics director, Snider has served as chair of Whitman’s Department of Sports Studies, Recreation and Athletics (SSRA).
The appointment of Snider as athletics director has been "important not only for Dean and for SSRA but for the entire college," Whitman president George S. Bridges said. "Dean’s knowledge of Whitman and NCAA Division III athletics, his understanding of varsity sports, his commitment to strengthening SSRA, and his patient, gracious demeanor are attributes that have suited him well in this position."
Timothy V. Kaufman-Osborn, dean of faculty at Whitman, has been "delighted" by the job Snider has done. "Dean has performed outstandingly as athletics director over the course of the past seven years," Kaufman-Osborn said. "He has served Whitman College exceedingly well."
One of the primary goals on which Snider has focused during his tenure has been "further integrating athletics – our varsity sports and physical education classes as well as our intramural and club sports – in the overall academic mission,” Snider said.
“It’s been a big task, one firmly rooted in the NCAA Division III philosophy. We are doing everything possible to make sure that athletics is a viable and valuable part of the Whitman College experience."
Snider, a native of Winnipeg, Canada, came to Whitman in 1996 after four seasons as the women’s volleyball coach at Western Washington University in Bellingham. He quickly revived a Whitman volleyball program that had struggled for a number of years. He left the program as Whitman’s winningest volleyball coach with over 200 victories.
Snider earned his bachelor’s degree in communications and history at Trinity Western University, a small private school in Langley, British Columbia. A four-year letterman on the men’s volleyball team as an undergraduate, he later coached the men’s team at Trinity Western for three seasons, leading his alma mater to a provincial title and fifth-place finish in the Canadian national championships.
While coaching at Western Washington, Snider completed a master’s degree in exercise science with a concentration in sports psychology.
Snider and spouse Darlene are the parents of three daughters: Madison, a senior education major at Trinity Western University, Langley BC; Kennedy, a first-year student at University of Victoria, Victoria BC; and Bailey, a student at Walla Walla High School. Darlene Snider is the Director of Transitional Studies at Walla Walla Community College.