Associate Athletics Director to Retire

Eastern Michigan University’s longtime Athletics Administrator Dr. Melody Reifel Werner has announced she will retire at the end of June. Werner has acted as director for Eastern’s Department of Athletics for 18 years. Reifel Werner, who recently celebrated her 57th birthday, believes the timing is right to conclude her successful career in athletic administration.

“There is no perfect time to step away,” Reifel Werner said in a news release. “To work with student-athletes, coaches, the administration and the Ypsilanti community has been incredibly rewarding. I have had great opportunities to develop as a person and to meet and work with many wonderful people over the course of my career in athletics.”

Reifel Werner began her career in the athletic compliance office in 1996 and continued her work in various roles within the compliance department until she became the Associate Athletics Director/Senior Women’s Administrator in 2011. From April-July 2013, she served as the Interim Athletic Director.

“Melody Reifel Werner has served Eastern Michigan University extremely well throughout her career,” Vice President and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Heather Lyke said. “Melody has a tremendous amount of compassion and support for our student-athletes, coaches and staff. We will miss having her as a member of our Executive Team and at the same time, we wish her the best in her next adventure.”

In 2013, Reifel Werner was named Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration for EMU and has continued in that role until the present time. In that role, she oversaw student-athletes support services, human resources and administrative support areas, as well as serving as the sport administrator for men’s and women’s cross country/track, men’s and women’s golf, gymnastics, softball and wrestling.

Reifel Werner has earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees with honors from Eastern Michigan. She completed her bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications in 1979 and her Master in Organizational Communications in 1998. She was awarded her Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership at EMU in 2006.
Reifel Werner is also the author of “Protecting University Integrity: Managing Risks in Intercollegiate Athletics”.

Prior to coming to EMU, Reifel Werner worked as an Educational Consultant for The Pace Group and as an Executive Accounts Manager for GTE. She is the former Chair of the NCAA Research Committee and a former member of the executive committee of the National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC). She serves on the Advisory Board to the “College Athletics and the Law” publication, which provides guidance on athletics laws and regulations.


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