Merilatt Hired as Nebraska Wesleyan University’s New Athletic Director

LINCOLN–(News Release July 6)–Dwight Merilatt will join Nebraska Wesleyan University as Director of Athletics and Recreation beginning July 18. He succeeds Ira Zeff who retired in

Merilatt will lead the Nebraska Wesleyan’s Department of Athletics, which includes 21 intercollegiate teams, cheer and dance, 68 coaches and approximately 535 student-athletes. He will report to NWU’s recently hired Vice President for Student Life Erin Hoffman.

Merilatt has over 25 years of experience in athletics including more than 20 years in athletic senior leadership and administration positions at NCAA Division I, II and III institutions. Since 2015, he has served as executive associate athletics director for external affairs for Illinois State University. In this role, he was responsible for development, marketing, ticket operations, strength and conditioning, and equipment room, direct supervision of four assistant athletic directors and management of a 40-person staff. He also served as the primary administrator for scheduling both conference and non-conference games for the Missouri Valley Football Conference games, and was responsible for Illinois State
University’s media sponsorships.

Before working at Illinois State, Merilatt served as associate athletics director for external affairs at the University of Evansville. In this role, he was responsible for the external operations of the athletics department, including corporate sponsorships, facilities, and game operations. Merilatt also helped to implement new basketball ticket and donor-related procedures, resulting in significant revenue increases and streamlined processes. His additional experiences include positions at Eastern Kentucky University, West Chester University, Tampa Bay FireStix, Softball Country Club, a women’s professional softball league in Tampa, Fla., and Tennis in Kentucky, a statewide tennis publication.

“Throughout my time on campus, I clearly recognized that NWU is a special place for highquality academics with great opportunities for overall success for its student athletes,” said
Merilatt. “I’m looking forward to working with everyone as we grow the athletic department and strengthen our exposure locally, regionally and nationally. My family and I are very excited for our next journey to become part of the Prairie Wolves family, and we are looking forward to being active members of the Lincoln community.

Merilatt received his bachelor’s degree in sports management from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Science in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky University. He and his wife, Mary Lee, have two children, Gabrielle and Andrew.