The Valparaiso University Department of Athletics has announced the promotion of Liz Jarnigan to Executive Associate Athletic Director.
Jarnigan owns a wealth of experience in intercollegiate athletics including a stint as the Director of Athletics at Southern Illinois University from 2019-2021. She joined the Valpo Athletics staff in December 2021 as the Associate Director of Athletics for Academic Support and Student Services.
“We are excited to have Liz take on an expanded role while continuing to be a tremendous resource and advocate for our student-athletes,” Director of Athletics Dr. Charles Small said. “Liz is a proven leader who will continue to utilize stewardship to promote an extraordinary student-athlete experience, be a tremendous resource for our coaches and help to continue to develop a culture of comprehensive excellence at Valpo.”
Jarnigan’s new responsibilities include sport oversight as the sport administrator for football, volleyball, women’s golf and men’s golf. In addition, she oversees facilities, internal operations, academic services and student services.
“Having great respect for Valparaiso’s athletic tradition, academic rigor and spiritual foundation, I am honored to be a part of the leadership team working in support of Beacon student-athletes,” Jarnigan said.
During her time in Carbondale, she helped the Salukis earn the 2021 Missouri Valley Conference All-Academic Award for the highest overall student-athlete grade point average. SIU also thrived in competition during her tenure, reaching the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) national quarterfinals, making an NCAA appearance in softball and boasting five track & field All-Americans.
Prior to her promotion to the top spot at SIU, Jarnigan served as the school’s Executive Senior Associate Athletic Director, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Woman Administrator from 2018–2019, leading the department’s overall internal operations and hiring six new head coaches. She also has experience in athletics administration at the following institutions — Air Force (Associate AD/SWA, 2016–2018), San Jose State (Senior Associate AD for Academics & Student Services / SWA, 2008–2016), Tulsa (Associate AD for Student Services, 2007–2008; Coordinator of Student Services, 2001–2006) and Briar Cliff College (Assistant AD, 1994–1996).
Jarnigan owns high school and college teaching and coaching experience in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas. She was the head women’s volleyball coach at Bethel College (1989–1994), Briar Cliff College (1994–1996) and Carleton College (1996–1999). The 1987 St. Olaf College alum was a four-year letter winner in volleyball. She received her master’s in athletic administration from Fort Hays State University in 1988.
Jarnigan’s husband Jeff is an assistant general manager and coach for the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. They have three children – Mary, Emily and Jack. Currently a member of the football coaching staff at New Mexico State University, Jack is a 2019 Valparaiso University graduate and was a four-year starting center for the Valpo football team.