Northwestern hires NCAA executive Derrick Gragg as athletic director

Northwestern hired NCAA executive Derrick Gragg as its athletic director Friday, the Big Ten school’s second time filling the position in a little more than a month.

Mike Polisky, a longtime deputy AD at Northwestern, was promoted to the job May 3 but stepped down amid backlash because he was named in a sexual harassment lawsuit against the school by former Wildcats cheerleaders.

Polisky was hired to replace Jim Phillips, who left Northwestern last year to become commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Gragg was athletic director at Tulsa from 2013 until last year, when he left to join the NCAA. He was named senior vice president for inclusion, education and community engagement in August and started the job in October.

The 51-year-old former Vanderbilt football player has a 25-year career in college athletics that includes stints as an administrator with Missouri, Michigan and Arkansas. He was athletic director at Eastern Michigan from 2006-13.

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