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Modeling Inclusive Leadership With Nebraska’s Marquita Armstead & Purdue’s Tiffini Grimes

Guest Marquita Armstead, Nebraska; Tiffini Grimes, Purdue
26:30 min watch


Nebraska Executive Associate AD/SWA Marquita Armstead and Purdue Deputy AD/SWA Tiffini Grimes join ADU’s Bryan Fischer at the 2023 NACDA Convention for a wide-ranging conversation about inclusive leadership, representation and cultivating DEIB within the department and among student-athletes; building relationships with first-time ADs, longtime ADs and head coaches; the impact of the SWA title and being a woman in a senior leadership role; and the value of having a compliance background in the current era of collegiate athletics. Armstead: “I was able to build a lot of relationships by doing that job. You touch everything in the department, so you get some expertise in a lot of areas… I don’t think people realize all that compliance touches and is able to do.”

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - What does an event like NACDA do in terms of career development for you?
  • - Why is your current role the right fit for you at this time in your career? Is the role what you expected it to be?
  • - You're both replacing administrators who had been in the role for a long time; how difficult is that coming into the job? How difficult is it to put your own stamp on the role and department?
  • - How do you balance the responsibility of being an SWA with all your other duties?
  • - You mentioned family; how difficult is it to balance a personal life with the duties that come with a senior leadership role?
  • - Marquita, how has working for a new AD changed the role you're in?
  • - Tiffini, your AD Mike Bobinski has been in the role for a long time and is already a veteran AD; how does that impact your role?
  • - How do you sum up that leadership style?
  • - How do you foster and encourage diversity within your department, among the culture created by your school's head coaches?
  • - How do you support your department and your AD through head coach searches, especially when they're not for a high profile sport?
  • - How does your compliance background inform your current job? How has it helped given the moment we're in for college athletics?
  • - Is it more difficult now to maintain those relationships with student-athletes given the transfer portal?
  • - Do you also have to think about NIL in all these decisions that you're making?
  • - Tiffini, how has your past experience at the national office impacted the way you've navigated changes related to NIL?
  • - Marquita, how does your compliance background give you a greater understanding of the work you do in your current role?