Melody Webb made history when she earned her latest promotion in the sports field.
Webb, who is pursuing her Doctor of Education degree from the United States Sports Academy, became the first female athletic director at Norfolk (Va.) State University when she was promoted to replace longtime department leader Marty Miller in June 2020. Webb previously served as the school’s senior associate athletic director and senior women’s administrator at the school for six years.
“I aspired to become an Athletics Director because I wanted to provide leadership and vision from an administrative perspective that would offer a comprehensive range of programs and services for student-athletes and create a culture that promotes academic achievement, personal development and championships,” Webb said. “I have been a student-athlete, a coach and an administrator, and I think each of those unique experiences allow me to identify various ways that can help enhance the overall student-athlete experience. My goal is to invest, impact and inspire. It’s about being able to create a holistic student-athlete experience and fostering an organizational culture measured by academic achievement, student-athlete wellness, graduation and post-graduation success.”
A native of Chicago, Ill., Webb is nearing the completion of her Doctor of Education degree program from the Academy. She said the program’s flexibility has been helpful to her as a full-time athletics administrator and the information she has learned has been instantly usable in her career.
“I have two other degrees, and I have to say matriculating through the Academy has been a great experience and the most rewarding so far,” Webb said. “It allows me to apply instantly what I’m learning in the classroom. I’m able to transfer educational experience directly to my position.
“The Academy places me in a position to collaborate with other students/professionals going through the same journey. The Sport Management discipline was new to me, but it has exposed me to areas of the field that have helped expand my view on operations and management decisions.”
Webb joined the NSU staff in April of 2014. In that role as Associate AD, she oversaw the business office, facilities, game operations and external relations, which included media relations, ticketing, marketing, promotions, fundraising, and corporate partnerships. In addition, she was the departmental Title IX coordinator and worked strategically with the Office of Institutional Equity to ensure Title IX compliance.
She also served as the lead administrator for the women’s basketball, men’s and women’s tennis and softball programs. Webb helped to provide strategies that drove revenue streams while increasing brand management and awareness to support the mission and vision of NSU athletics. Under her leadership, Webb oversaw more than $2 million in facility upgrades and renovations, including the installation of video scoreboards, locker room renovations and replacement of the original court in Joseph G Echols Hall, and new artificial turf at Dick Price Stadium.
Prior to NSU, Webb was the Associate Commissioner for Business Operations at the Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association (CIAA), where she oversaw financial support to 13 institutions, 3,500 students and more than 5,000 participation opportunities in 14 different championships. Of the 14 championships produced by the CIAA, its annual basketball tournament is one of the nation’s premier sporting events, attracting over 190,000 fans during the course of the week, and now ranked as the third-highest attended basketball tournament among all NCAA divisions.
Before CIAA, Webb served stints as the Assistant Athletics Director for Business at George Washington University from 2010-12, Business Manager at University of Maryland from 2006-10, and Associate Athletics Director/SWA at Elizabeth City State University from 2004-06. At George Washington, she was responsible for administrative oversight of a $22 million budget. She assisted with the financial management of a $55 million budget at Maryland and oversaw the administrative operations for athletic financial affairs, purchasing and accounts.
At Elizabeth City, she provided fiscal management and operational oversight of all aspects of the intercollegiate athletics and sports programs. In each position, Webb was responsible for external and internal reports to university administrators, the Department of Education and the NCAA.
“With over 15 years of progressive athletic administrative experience, specifically in higher education, I have served in various positions that have allowed me to strategically maintain and support a high quality athletics program that is consistent with an institution’s mission and traditions,” Webb said. “My approach and philosophy to student initiatives is influenced by my background in finance. That is the vehicle through which institutions and departments align their strategic plan by establishing a higher standard of excellence through fiscal accountability, academic controls, operations and enhancement initiatives. It’s important that when I served as an Sr. Associate that I collaborated internally and externally to ensure we are offering the best resources for our student-athletes. Athletics is a brand, and our campus partners, alumni, external partners and community all comprise our brand. It’s those partnerships and collaboration with stakeholders that will continue to propel an athletics department forward.”
Webb currently sits on various committees and boards and is a part of the Collegiate Athletic Business Managers Association (CABMA), Minority Opportunity Athletic Association (MOAA), National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators and is a member of Delta Sigma Pi Business Fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.