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Experienced Athletics & Recreation Leader | Champion of social justice | Transformation Driver

Nan Carney-DeBord

As a multi-dimensional, transformational leader and culture expert, Nan Carney-DeBord empowers others by inspiring positive, collaborative environments and conversations to advance equity in leadership.

With over 30 years of experience as a director of athletics, chair, professor, and notable women’s head basketball coach, Carney-DeBord has influenced how others solve challenges, consider the world, and affect change. And as the Under Armour Division III Athletics Director of the Year and the NCAA Division III Women Leaders in College Sports Nike Executive of the Year, her credibility is indisputable.

Currently the Associate Vice President of Athletics & Recreation and the Chair of Physical Education at Denison University, Carney-DeBord drives critical decision-making that ensures the well-being of the student-athlete, as well as the overall university. She is intentional about building effective teams and hiring exceptional talent that remains committed to academic distinction, growth, and service. Overseeing 24 athletic programs, Carney-DeBord is establishing a culture of diversity, cohesion, and collective expertise. She curates spaces that are conducive for others to optimize their motivation and step into their best selves.

At Ohio Wesleyan University, Carney-DeBord led as a professor and women’s head basketball coach. She was one of the winningest coaches in Division III women’s basketball history while guiding the team to six NCAA Division III Tournament trips.

The team gained five NCAC championships, and she was a seven-time conference Coach of the Year. Additionally, she propelled her team to the national semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament and was named the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year.

As a servant-leader who is exhilarated and energized by others’ successes, Carney-DeBord leads with mindfulness and optimism. She equips others through circular and lateral leadership that promotes a balance of realism and wellness.

Carney-DeBord understands the importance of environments and is intentional about the authenticity that she models when developing them for others. She encourages self-awareness, self-reflection, attention to empathy, and an understanding of social skills.

She blazes the trail for women leaders to confidently impact informative societal entities. As a champion of social justice, Carney-DeBord challenges others to find comfort in diversity. Promoting safe spaces of gender equity, DEI, antiracism, and belonging, her collaborative approach compliments and achieves positive team cultures and student-athlete experiences for all.

Creating & elevating inclusive environments for others to step into their best self.

Leading Expertise:

  • Empowering the next generation through collaboration

  • How your leadership style is impacting your people and culture

  • Why both EQ and IQ are essential in leadership

  • Why consistent re-evaluation is essential to progressing social justice in your organization

  • Why women must be present in our highest levels of leadership

Connect with Nan

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