Article By: Chelsea Cornwell
Photos By: Josh Triggs
Shepherd University accepted a new Athletics Director as of July of 2016. Shepherd President Mary Hendrix hired Mr. Chauncey Winbush, of Elkridge, Maryland for the position of Vice President for Athletics. Winbush is no stranger to Shepherd University as he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and economics in 1995 and came back to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in sport management in 2000. His love for learning led him to later earn a master’s degree in tourism administration with a concentration in sport management from George Washington University in 2002.
Winbush, was also inducted into the Shepherd University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005, was a superstar on the Ram football team from 1990-93. Winbush became one of the top wide receivers in schools history. He has been a member of the WVIAC title and NAIA Playoff teams in 1991 and 1992. Winbush led the Rams in receptions and receiving yards in his junior and senior years and earned First Team All-WVIAC and Honorable Mention All-American honors as a senior. Who better for the job than someone that has hands-on experience with coaching, playing and interacting with everyone at Shepherd University, and someone who was quoted as saying that he, “Bleeds Blue and Gold”?
Winbush previously worked as the Senior Associate Athletic Director for Business Services, as a civilian, at the Naval Academy Athletic Association in Annapolis, Maryland, where he worked for 15 years. Winbush, who has extensive experience in the management and development, had day-to-day interaction with athletic programs and staff, addressing issues including compliance, budgets, player discipline, scheduling, recruiting, travel issues, and facilities, as well as stewardship of donors in support of Navy athletics. This will translate wonderfully to Shepherd University Athletics as he will be in charge of planning, leading, coordinating and evaluating all athletic programs and functions.
When the position for Vice President of Athletics at Shepherd University became available, Winbush said that he, “…Was ready for a change of pace and I wanted to come back to my roots and really have the ability to be hands on with every aspect of the department and it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up…”
There are many aspects of the position that inspires and excites Winbush in his everyday activities. “There’s certainly a lot of communication via email, phone calls, and meetings. Especially during football season there is a lot of planning that goes on. Planning for a home game, or planning to leave to go to an away game. Shepherd Football is certainly the leader of the pack, so there is a lot that goes into each and every single game.” Fortunately Winbush has dedicated staffers to help coordinate each of these tasks, for which he is very thankful. “Between the 6 of us, we put our heads together to prepare for, whatever, event, be it a home game where we have to get ready for ticket sales, and to set up the stadium with volunteers. When we are traveling we make sure to have rental cars, hotel arrangements, meals for the team, etc.” Winbush explained.
He is also a very present Athletic Director that shows up to every game that he can make, this includes all sports, not just Football. “By far what I enjoy most about this position is the ability to be so hands-on with everything. I want to be a good role model for student athletes because I can say that I have literally walked in their shoes, because I was a student athlete, just like them. Because I did it, I know you can do it. That’s always my mentality.” He stated. He makes sure to appear at all sporting events such as tennis matches as well as Basketball games and all other Shepherd sports, ensuring that all of the students, teachers and coaches know that, “I have an open door policy. When I see my athletes in the halls I always make sure to ask how they are feeling. I want the students to know that I care about their well being on the field, in the classroom and also in their regular lives.” Winbush expressed.
Winbush has a wonderful outlook on what the programs can achieve and how he can help each and every one of them so that all of different Shepherd Athletics Departments can thrive. “It’s not always about winning on the fi eld, I want to see our student athletes winning off the field and, hopefully, inspire them to achieve their goals and pass on what wisdom I have to them and hope that it does help them to succeed in life and in the classroom as well as on the field.” Winbush on what goals he has as the Director and what he can hopefully pass on to the students for success in their athletic life as well as their personal achievements. “Those are the goals that I have for the program.”
Along with his career, Winbush lit up when talking about his family and how much they have supported him with his new transition. He has a wonderful wife, who he stated, “none of this would be possible without…”as well as a 12 year-old son who is a basketball star and a 10 year-old daughter that is an outstanding cheerleader. When he is not spending time with his family, or his students, he is on the green. Golf is what Winbush described as, “a moment when I went out with some buddies of mine and its so cliché but absolutely true for be because I hit what they call that ‘one good shot’ and I was hooked. Being a competitor and having competed my whole life, I was so hooked that three weeks later I had a part time job at the golf course.
“I think that it is quite easy to say that after meeting Mr. Chauncey Winbush and hearing about his dedication for the Shepherd Athletics Department and passion for helping each student athlete that comes through his door, that the department is headed in a fantastic direction. We are all wishing him future achievements and hoping that his goal of taking all Shepherd sports to Nationals, will come to fruition.