Louis “Skip” Perkins was named as Delaware State University’s Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics in November 2015. He served in the position in an interim capacity since Jan. 2014. Perkins’ tenure at Delaware State has been highlighted by significant academic, competitive and facility achievements. Under his supervision, DSU student-athletes have a cumulative grade-point-average above 3.0 and there are currently no NCAA Academic Progress Rate penalties or restrictions.
Perkins also spearheaded Delaware State’s efforts to secure the second-year funding portion of a 450 thousand dollar NCAA AASP (Accelerated Success Program) Grant. In Dec, 2, 2016, NCAA representatives joined Delaware State officials for the official ribbon-cutting for the expansion of DSU’s Student-Athlete Academic Support Center. The academic support center expansion, funded by the university, played a major role in the NCAA’s 2015 decision to award DSU the AASP grant. The NCAA also found that Delaware State’s institutional goals were consistent with the national organization’s Academic Progress Rate and Academic Performance Program. In addition to an expanded computer lab, the newly renovated center features conference rooms, tutoring cubicles, individual and group study rooms, in addition to renovated staff offices. “Our academic support center is a first-rate facility that improves the student-athlete experience by providing the space and resources to receive objective-based study hall, sessions with academic counselors and mentors, as well as obtain the support needed to succeed in the classroom, earn a degree and become leaders in society,” said Perkins. “In addition to serving the needs of our current student-athletes, the academic support center is a centerpiece in our recruitment outreach to future Hornets and their families.”
During the 2016-17 academic year, Delaware State’s bowling team captured the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Northern Division title, while freshman Alexis Nauer shared the league’s Rookie-of-the-Year award and competed in the United States Bowling Conference national singles championship. In March 2017, the DSU equestrian team made history by winning its first United Equestrian Conference championship. The Hornets also competed in the National Collegiate Equestrian Association (NCEA) championship tournament for the second year in a row and were honored as the NCEA Sportsmanship Team-of-the-Year for the second time in the five-year history of the award.
Hornet athletics again reaped the benefits of Perkins’ outreach to university alumni during the 2016-17 academic year. He helped secure the donation of two 12-passengers vans by a prominent alumnus. The vans, emblazoned with Hornet logos, are for use by DSU teams and other athletics department needs. In 2016, Perkins secured the funding and oversaw the installation of new multimedia video/scoreboards in Memorial Hall. The video screens on the 6-foot-6-inch x 10-foot boards are 192 lines by 288 columns. The LED video display also features game-in-progress as well as requested stats information. One board is located in the northeast corner of the gym and the other near the southwest entrance. “We are thrilled to partner with Daktronics to bring a new level of fun and excitement for our fans in Memorial Hall,” said Perkins. In addition to enhancing Hornet sporting events, the multi-media boards will allow the university to offer attractions on the big screen for the entire campus community to enjoy.”
Other recent improvements to Memorial Hall include the installation of a colorful new floor for the Hornet basketball and volleyball teams in July 2017. Perkins also spearheaded the initiative to expand live video streaming of DSU home sporting events through the school’s athletics webpage (DSUHornets.com) during the 2017-18 academic year.
The Hornet bowling team made the National Tenpin Coaches Association list of teams with “exemplary” grade-point averages for the 2015-16 academic year. To be considered for team recognition, programs must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.2 or higher. Delaware State was sixth among the 17 programs that reached the standard with a team GPA of 3.542. In addition, five Hornet bowlers were among 163 student-athletes earning NTCA All-Academic recognition by maintaining at least a 3.4 GPA for the 2015-16 school year. In addition, Delaware State’s bowling program received a NCAA Public Recognition Award for Academic Progress Rate in the top 10 percent nationally, while the Hornet football team was cited by the Division I FCS Athletic Directors Association for achieving the highest APR among MEAC schools for the 2014-15 academic year.
Also during Perkins’ tenure at Delaware State, the women’s bowling team captured the 2015-16 MEAC Tournament championship, the first by any Hornet team since 2010. The DSU women’s soccer program won the second of back-to-back Independent Teams Tournament championships in 2015, while the Hornet softball team won consecutive MEAC North Division titles in 2015 & 2016. Perkins successfully gained entry for the DSU women’s lacrosse team into the Atlantic Sun Conference, giving the program its first-ever conference affiliation. He also spearheaded the effort to install a state-of-the-art multimedia audio/video board at Alumni Stadium, and helped established an online store for the purchase of university apparel and paraphernalia.
Also since Perkins arrived at DSU, NaJai Pollard was selected as the MEAC Women’s Basketball Rookie-of-the-Year, while Devin Morgan won the league’s Men’s Basketball Rookie-of-the-Year award for the 2015-16 season. Also, Delaware State’s Kendall Gray was the 2014-15 MEAC Men’s Basketball Player-of-the-Year and Defensive Player-of-the-Year, the second player in league history to receive both awards in the same season. Under Perkins’ direction, Delaware State successfully hosted a national post-season basketball contest for the first time in school history when the Hornet men entertained Radford in the opening round of the 2015 College Basketball Invitational. The Hornets were selected to host the contest after competing in the MEAC championship game for the first time since 2007 the previous weekend.
Prior to the Delaware State University appointment, Perkins was Director of Athletics at Howard University from 2011 to 2014. While at Howard Perkins supervised the operations of all athletic programs, including more than 410 student-athletes participating in 19 varsity sports, the majority of which compete along with most Delaware State University teams, in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. During his tenure, Perkins identified and secured conference membership for Howard’s athletic programs that are not sponsored by the MEAC, allowing men’s soccer to join the Sun Belt Conference as an affiliate; women’s soccer team to become a member of the Southwestern Athletics Conference (SWAC) as an associate member; and women’s lacrosse to become an affiliate member of the Atlantic Sun Conference (A-SUN).
Howard’s overall cumulative grade point average (GPA) for its 19 sponsored sports was above 3.0 for the second year and the overall graduation rate was approximately 70 percent during the 2013-14 academic year. HU’s women’s cross-country team was recognized by the NCAA for producing an Academic Progress Rate (APR) in the Top 10 percent nationally. Also, for the second year in a row the Bison women’s tennis team received the Intercollegiate (ITA) All-American Team Award. The award is given annually to NCAA Division I teams with a GPA of 3.2 or above; the women’s team achieved an average GPA of 3.5. Additionally, several student-athletes received All-Academic Awards and 131 student-athletes were recognized on the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic Team for maintaining a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. In continuing to support the academic excellence of the overall athletic program, Howard utilized funding from the NCAA to create a new Academic Support Center.
Howard experienced significant improvement across multiple programs during Perkins’ tenure. The Bison were finishing MEAC runners-up or finalists a total of nine times in six different sports (women’s volleyball – 2014; men’s cross country – 2013; football – 2012; women’s soccer – 2012, women’s basketball – 2011-2013; and women’s tennis – 2011-2012). In Nov. 2014, Howard’s women’s team captured the SWAC regular season & tournament championships in its first year in the league. In addition the team set a school record for wins in a season (13).
While at Howard, Perkins spearheaded the campaign that increased overall memberships and quadrupled donations to the athletic department’s booster organization, The Bison Express. Bison Express funds assisted in the newly constructed strength and conditioning/rehab facility for student-athletes. Most recently, Bison athletics entered into an exclusive multi-year apparel partnership with Under Armour for its men’s & women’s soccer and women’s lacrosse programs that has reinforced the overall branding for the athletic program.
Perkins’ tenure at Howard is also highlighted by major facility improvements, including the $10 million Burr Gymnasium renovation project. Bison athletics also teamed with FieldTurf to install a state-of-the-art synthetic turf at Greene Stadium. Also, Howard athletics collaborated with the University’s radio and television stations, along with HU’s School of Communications, to unveil an advanced LED video display (JumboTron) and scoreboard.
Prior to his years at Howard, Perkins served as Director of Athletics at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, which experienced significant improvements competitively and in the classroom during his tenure. Golden Lion teams won a total of five conference championships, highlighted by titles in women’s cross country (2007 and 2009), men’s cross country (2009), women’s soccer (2009); and men’s basketball (2010) under his leadership.
Perkins’ philosophy as an athletic administrator centers around the belief that in order for student-athletes to reach achieve success, they must strive to be the best in their sport and in the classroom. Perkins took great pride in the academic integrity of UAPB’s athletics programs, which boasted one of the highest graduation rates in the state. More than 40 percent of UAPB student-athletes maintained a 3.0 or better grade point average and one of the best athletic peer tutoring programs in the SWAC during his tenure.
Under his leadership, UAPB athletic facilities were significantly improved. The five million dollar J. Thomas May Athletic Field House and football practice field serves as one of the premier athletic facilities in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Southeast Arkansas Region.
Prior to his appointment at UAPB, Perkins was the assistant director of Athletics at his alma mater, North Carolina Central University (NCCU). He was instrumental in the institution’s transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. Perkins’ year-long fundraising campaign yielded $1.8 million to benefit student-athletes. He also served as the executive director of Communications and External Affairs at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, N.C. He developed and directed communication strategies, which included the development of publications and institutional policies.
A 1994 graduate of North Carolina Central University, Perkins holds a bachelor of arts degree in Political Science and master’s degrees in Public Administration and instructional media from North Carolina Central University. He was an Academic All-America in both 1994 and 1995 as a member of the NCCU tennis team, where he was a four-year team captain and also ranks among the school leaders in career wins.
Perkins is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the United States Tennis Association, the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc., North Carolina Central Alumni Association and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Perkins also takes great pride in being a recipient of the 2012 “Forty Under Forty” Alumni Award from North Carolina Central University.
Perkins currently serves as Co-Chair of the NCAA LRI Athletics Director Task Force and is a member of the NCAA HBCU and LRI Academic Advisory Panel.