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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University Athletics Department is proud to welcome home Warren P. Keller, ’10, as its new Athletic Director, as announced by President Roberta J. Cordano and Dean Travis Imel on Thursday, December 2.
Keller, 35, brings over 11 years of experience working in Deaf education and athletics. He joins Gallaudet after serving as the Superintendent of the Sequoia Deaf School in Mesa, Arizona since July 2020. Prior to that, he served as the Athletic Director at California School for the Deaf, Fremont for nearly five years while also serving as the head coach of the school’s varsity football team for eight seasons.
“We are thrilled to welcome Warren back to campus as our Athletic Director. Warren stood out during the search process because of his proven track record as a Deaf leader in education and athletics,” said Cordano. “He has made positive impressions at Sequoia Deaf School and California School for the Deaf, Fremont and served as a change agent at both schools to create the kind of culture and identity we want to see in our athletics program. Warren’s vision and goals for our athletics department align with what we were searching for. Please join us in welcoming Warren as we begin a new era for Gallaudet Athletics.”
A native of Chicago, Illinois, Keller earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education and recreation from Gallaudet University in 2010 and a master’s degree in special education with specialization in deaf and hard of hearing people from National University in 2015. Prior to Gallaudet, Keller attended and graduated from Rochester School for the Deaf.
Keller was a student-athlete during his time at Kendall Green, as he played four years on the Bison baseball team (2005-2008) and he served as a captain his senior year. He also lettered in men’s soccer (2004). Keller worked in the Gallaudet Athletics weight room as a strength coach and trainer, served as a student assistant in the Sports Information Office and worked as a member of the Bison Crew. Keller was lauded for his work ethic and performance during the 2009-2010 school year when he was named as Bison Crew of the Year recipient. Keller was also active in Bison TV Productions during his four years as a student as he established “Bison Center,” a campus sports TV show.
“I want to thank our athletics leadership team for ensuring that Gallaudet Athletics continued to be competitive in the absence of an Athletic Director since June 2021. I also want to thank the search committee and campus community stakeholders for their time and work in the search for our next leader of our athletics department. Warren stood out among a very competitive field of qualified candidates,” said Imel. “During this process, we kept coming back to Warren and his background and experience and what he can bring to our campus. His energetic personality, professional demeanor, and creativity are traits that will benefit our student-athletes and the Athletics Department.”
Keller began his professional career at the Sequoia Deaf School as a physical education teacher and athletics coordinator for the 2010-2011 school year. He also led the first English Language Immersion (ELI) program where he taught two classes and served as IEP case manager for all ELI students. He joined California School for the Deaf, Fremont in August 2011 as a physical education and health teacher, and held that position for seven years.
Keller took over the reins as head coach of the varsity football team in June 2012 and led the Eagles to new heights and national prominence with its media exposure during the 2016 season when they were featured on ESPN’s High School Football Showcase and E:60 Pictures’ Silent Night Lights, a mini-documentary on the Eagles football team. Keller’s efforts led him to be recognized by the National Football League as a finalist for the National High School Coach of the Year award.
Keller was named National Deaf Interscholastic Athletic Association (NDIAA) Football Coach of the Year twice, in 2014 and 2016. Keller and the Eagles were featured in Microsoft Surface commercials during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl LI in January 2017. He compiled a 60-29 record in eight seasons (2012-2019) leading the CSD Fremont football program. As CSD’s Athletic Director, he was responsible for maintaining the budget and renovation and upkeep of the gymnasium and facilities, along with managing personnel and scheduling.
“I am humbled and honored to come back home and lead the Gallaudet Athletics program into the next generation,” said Keller. “I have to thank so many people — the Gallaudet University athletics staff when I was a student, who allowed me to work and experience so many different small roles around the Field House as part of the Bison Crew. To all the students, supervisors, staff, coaches, and the community at the California School for the Deaf-Fremont and Sequoia Deaf School: You all taught me so much in this journey and supported me all the way.
“I also want to thank my family and everyone who was involved with the interview process, the search committee, student leaders, department leaders, Dean Imel, and President Cordano. You all inspired me with your love for Gallaudet and helped me confirm that this was, in fact, my dream job.
“As I come back to Kendall Green, I look forward to meeting everyone soon and implementing a ‘Championship Culture’ philosophy to Gallaudet Athletics as we work toward a very exciting future. Together as a team, we will achieve many things. Go Bison!”
The Athletic Director position has been vacant since June, and the department’s day-to-day operations have been led since then by six senior-level Athletics Department staff members. When Keller begins his new duties on January 10, 2022, he will lead the university’s NCAA Division III intercollegiate athletics program, which consists of seven men’s and seven women’s varsity sports teams, fall and winter sports cheer teams, and a thriving intramural program. He will supervise four associate and assistant athletic directors, 12 full-time coaches and staff, 45 part-time coaches and graduate assistants, four athletic training staff, and a large number of student employees and interns. Keller also will oversee the university’s athletic facilities, including the Field House and the baseball, softball, football, soccer, and track and field venues.
Gallaudet is a proud member of the United East Conference for many of its sports. It is also a member of the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) for football, the Atlantic East Conference (AEC) for swimming, and the Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) for track and field.
About Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world. For more information about Gallaudet University, please visit www.gallaudet.edu, and visit the Bison athletics site at www.gallaudetathletics.com.
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