Nan Carney-DeBord '80 begins her eighth year leading Denison athletics. After returning to her alma mater in 2011 as the Director of Athletics and faculty chair of the Department of Health, Exercise and Sport Studies, Carney-DeBord was promoted to Associate Vice President in 2016.
Since returning to her alma mater, Denison has gone on to achieve numerous successes, both on-field and within department growth. Under her direction, Denison has won the North Coast Athletic Conference All-Sports Championship four times in 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2018. Since her arrival in the fall of 2011, Denison has won 27 NCAC Championships, three national championships (men's swimming & diving) and the college has completed its $38 million renovations and expansion to the Mitchell Center. The athletic department has also grown considerably under Carney-DeBord, with assistant coaching positions and full-time faculty coaching positions added to numerous sports since 2011. Denison athletics has consistently ranked among the nation's top liberal arts colleges in the annual Learfield Directors' Cup standings and student-athletes have thrived in the classroom. Carney-DeBord ushered in the creation of the James T. Glerum Top-50 Honors Celebration in 2012 and since that time Denison has recognized the top-50 student-athletes in terms of grade point average along with a faculty member of their choosing. One of the highlights of each academic year, the cut-off point to be included in the 2018 Top-50 was a 3.65 GPA.
Prior to accepting the post to guide Denison's athletic department, Carney-DeBord was one of the winningest coaches in Division III women's basketball history, posting a career record of 433-227 while guiding Ohio Wesleyan to six NCAA Division III Tournament berths. The Battling Bishops captured five NCAC championships and she was a seven-time conference Coach of the Year. In 2001, she guided her team to the national semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament and was named the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division III National Coach of the Year.
In 2009, Carney-DeBord became only the 33rd coach in Division III history to reach the 400-win mark. In addition to her time as the head women's basketball coach at Ohio Wesleyan, she spent six seasons (1985-1990) as the head field hockey coach at OWU where her teams posted a .714 winning percentage and began a streak of seven straight NCAA Tournament appearances that would eventually conclude in 1993. At Ohio Wesleyan, she also served as assistant athletics director from 1987 to 1993 and associate athletics director from 1993 through 2003.
Carney-DeBord was a four-year letter winner in basketball and field hockey at Denison. A wing and point guard in basketball, she was a team captain and was named the team's Most Valuable Player as a senior. As a back on the Denison field hockey squad, she was a three-year captain and helped lead the 1979 team to a 12-3-1 record. In 1998, she was inducted in the Varsity D Association Athletics Hall of Fame at Denison. In addition to her bachelor's degree in physical education from Denison, Carney-DeBord earned a master's of arts in athletics administration from Kent State University.
Carney-DeBord and her husband, Jack, reside in Granville and have two sons, Tyler and T.J.