VIENNA - Following a six-year absence, Chad Porter is returning to his roots as the newly appointed athletic director at his alma mater of Ohio Valley University. OVU President Dr. Howard Shank announced the hiring on Thursday.
"We are thrilled to announce Chad Porter's return to the OVU campus as our new athletic director," Dr. Shank said. "His demonstrated leadership and proven track record as a successful coach and motivator made him the ideal candidate for this position.
"He brings enthusiasm and a wealth of sports management experience that will position our athletics program for expanded future growth opportunities."
Porter, a graduate of Meadowbrook High School, spent the past six seasons as the head coach at Texas A&M International University - a Division II program located in Laredo, Texas.
"I had the desire to come back home and get the family closer to home," Porter said. "Obviously being the athletic director also was a big deal."
Porter is tying up a few loose ends before he reports to the OVU campus in mid-July. He is going to miss the relationships he built with the Texas A&M International players and administration.
When Porter accepted the position with the Dustdevils, he was the program's fourth coach in two years. Little by little, he developed a productive atmosphere. Three years ago, he led the team to its first Heartland Conference postseason tournament and repeated that feat two years later.
His career record of 124-189 included the program's first winning season in 2013. In addition to entering the top 25 rankings on several occasions, the Dustdevils had multiple players play professional baseball, including pitcher Manolo Mendoza, who is the son of Mario Mendoza. The Mendoza Line originated from Mario Mendoza's batting average during his career in the major leagues.
"I really enjoyed the level of baseball in Texas," Porter said. "The talent level was very good. A lot of the teams in the conference were throwing a lot of money into their programs. New stadiums were being built and we had to compete against that.
"I didn't necessarily want to stop coaching, but I couldn't pass up this opportunity being an hour from home in Parkersburg and going back to my alma mater."
Before leaving for Laredo, Porter had built OVU baseball into a contender. During his five seasons with the Fighting Scots, he produced a record of 98-147. On two separate occasions, his teams appeared in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
The pinnacle of his coaching career with OVU occurred in 2006 when the Fighting Scots won a school-record 37 games and advanced to the NCAA Division II North Atlantic Regional. That same year, the WVIAC recognized Porter as the Coach of the Year.
As for his approach with his new position at OVU, Porter sees similarities.
"The biggest thing will be to evaluate from day one and see where we are at," Porter said. "It won't be any different than coaching college athletics. We need to come up with a plan of attack and improve a little bit at a time. We have to get everybody on board."
Porter, along with his wife, Valissa, and two daughters (6-year-old Kennedy and 2-year-old Khloe) were able to visit the Mid-Ohio Valley twice a year when the recruiting process quieted down - once during Christmas break and again in July. Now they will join family members on a more permanent basis.
"I didn't just wake up one day - this was a tough decision," Porter said. "At the end of the day, I know it was the right decision with my family and for my career," Porter said.