Saginaw Valley State University has appointed John Decker to serve as director of Athletics in a permanent capacity. Decker had been serving as the interim director since January when Mike Watson retired.
"I appreciate John's willingness to accept the challenge of leading our athletic department," said Donald Bachand, SVSU president. "His career has been outside of intercollegiate athletics, and over the past several months while he has been serving in an interim capacity, I have found value in the fresh perspective he has brought to the job, and the opportunities for growth he has identified."
"As a former student-athlete himself, John is passionate about providing our student-athletes with the best possible experience both educationally and competitively, and I know that will be his top priority every day."
Decker joined SVSU in 2014 as associate vice president and general counsel. Prior to that, he worked for 34 years for the Saginaw-based law firm Braun Kendrick, including 12 years as managing partner.
"I am excited for this opportunity to lead the SVSU Cardinal athletics program," Decker said. "We have a rich athletic tradition, combined with a good balance of academic performance, which is what the NCAA Division II athletic experience should be."
A Saginaw native, Decker played college football at the University of Nebraska, where he completed a bachelor's degree. He earned a law degree at Duke University.
Decker will hold an appointment as associate vice president for legal affairs at SVSU, though his primary responsibilities will lie in Athletics. His wife Sally is a professor of nursing at SVSU; they have two adult children.