FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – University of Arkansas Deputy Director of Athletics Derita Renee-Ratcliffe Dawkins has been named to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee. Dawkins is one of 10 members of the committee and will serve a five-year appointment beginning on September 1, 2020. Dawkins is the first representative from the University of Arkansas to be selected to serve on this prestigious committee.
“It is an honor to be chosen to serve on the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee,” Dawkins said. “I know that with this appointment comes additional work and I accept that responsibility willingly. This committee assignment is not only an opportunity to serve the DI membership and help advance women’s basketball, but also an opportunity to honor the memory of my recently deceased mother who played college basketball in the 1950s. She would be so excited to know that I will have a hand in selecting the NCAA Tournament field and in continuing to promote the game she loved.”
The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee will review and, when necessary, provide recommendations in the following areas pertaining to administration of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship: team selection [including seeding, bracketing, NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET), site selection [including first and second rounds, regional round and Women’s Final Four], championship operations and games management, championship misconduct issues and championship official selection and advancement. The Committee is charged with selecting the 32 at-large teams which will join the 32 conference automatic qualifiers that are included in the annual 64-team championship bracket.
“Derita is an outstanding leader within Razorback Athletics, at the University of Arkansas and throughout intercollegiate athletics,” Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Hunter Yurachek said. “Her passion for student-athletes and their well-being is always at the forefront of her focus and commitment. I know that the committee will benefit greatly from the addition of Derita’s experience and perspective as it works to enrich and grow the game of women’s basketball.”
Dawkins is in her fourth year with the Razorbacks and serves as the Senior Woman Administrator and is a member of Razorback Athletics’ executive and senior staffs. In her role, she oversees the areas of student-athlete wellness, including sports medicine, strength and conditioning, mental health and performance and sports nutrition. She also is the sport administrator for women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country and track and field. Recently, Dawkins was named by the Southeastern Conference to its Council on Racial Equality and Social Justice.
Dawkins brings more than 20 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics and came to the University of Arkansas from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), where she spent eight and half years as Senior Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator (SWA). Prior to UAB, Ratcliffe served in a variety of roles at a number of different institutions, including nearly four years as the director of athletics at Kentucky State University.