Dianthia Ford-Kee began her duties as Director of Athletics on November 18, 2013. She came highly endorsed by Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA Executive Vice President for Membership and Student-Athlete Affairs and Chief Inclusion Officer.
“While serving as president of three CIAA schools (Virginia Union, Livingstone and St. Augustine’s), I had the opportunity to get to know and view first-hand the coaching and athletic administrative career of Dianthia Ford-Kee while she was at Shaw University,” said Dr. Franklin. “Since joining the NCAA in 2003 as a senior executive staff member, I continued my relationship with Dianthia and have had the opportunity to witness her Associate AD work at Shaw and AD work at Lincoln and know of the numerous NCAA committees she has served on and the respect that the NCAA staff has for her work and leadership in athletics. MVSU is getting a seasoned, highly professional and expert athletic administrator who is viewed as one of the finest AD’s in the country. I know that she will do an excellent job at The Valley and Dr. Bynum and the MVSU community and athletic teams are very fortunate to have her aboard as AD. The NCAA staff and I look forward to a continued strong working relationship with Mrs. Ford-Kee.”
During her first year, the University was awarded the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program multi-year grant for $900,000 over 3 years to establish a full-service Student-Athlete Academic Support Center. The grant will focus on improving academic success of the student-athletes while strengthening the collaboration between athletics across campus departments. The grant began September 2014 and the new Student-Athlete Academic Support Center officially opened April 22, 2015 in the Academic Skills Pallor. July 24th, Ford-Kee and members of MVSU’s grant Oversight Committee successfully secured the second installment of the grant, $300,000. Over the past two seasons, the Departmental GPA is a 2.99. The women’s soccer team and the baseball team earned highest GPA of 3.5 and 3.1 respectively. A total of 144 student-athletes earned honors for the SWAC Commissioners All-Academic Team in 2015 and 57 student-athletes graduated in May’s commencement.
One June 13, 2016, Ford-Kee was recognized by the United State Congress as the Honorable Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi in the House of Representatives for her work as a director, leader and educator for her dedication to serving others and giving back to the African American Community.
In July of 2015, she secured a new partnership for athletic training services for the student-athletes as well as new team physicians to monitor their health and wellness. Spring 2015, the baseball team returned to Magnolia Stadium after being off-campus for 2 years, women’s soccer has a new press box, and softball field renovations completed.
No stranger to NCAA committee service, Ford-Kee was appointed to the NCAA Division I Council January 2015 to represent the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC). She is also a member of the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee. She will represent the SWAC through January 2018.
Previously, Ford-Kee served over five years as the Director of Athletics at Lincoln University of Pennsylvania having successfully navigated Lincoln’s Athletic Department to active membership in NCAA Division II and return to the CIAA. Ford-Kee came to Lincoln from Shaw University where she spent 18 years working in athletic administration and coaching. Ford-Kee was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA) – NCAA Division II Female Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2006 while serving as Shaw’s Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator.
Most recently Ford-Kee served on the NCAA Minority Opportunity & Interest Committee and the CIAA Executive Committee as the Vice President for the Northern Division. She has also served on the NCAA Division II Project Team to Review Issues Related to Diversity and the NCAA DII Strategic Alliance Matching Grant Selection, NCAA DII Women’s Basketball Atlantic Regional Advisory Committee, Oxford Area Chamber of Commerce, Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce. Previous committee service includes NCAA Division II Management Council as the CIAA Conference representative from 1999-2005 and Committee on Women’s Athletics, Division II Nominating Committee.
Ford-Kee was honored by the Black Women in Sports Foundation for her accomplishments at Lincoln University and in the field of athletics with the Legends Award. She has received several honors in the state of North Carolina; she was a 1998 inductee in the Wake County Academy for Women for Athletics and a 1999 nominee of the Governor’s Distinguished Woman Award for Athletics. Recently, in October of 2009, she was honored and the recipient of the Northern Illinois University’s College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Golden Anniversary Alumni Award. Ford-Kee was one of fifty alumni who have distinguished themselves in the careers that have contributed to the worlds of education, science, scholarship, business, law, medicine, community leadership and engagement, philanthropy and government service.
Ford-Kee has enjoyed a tremendous amount of success with her softball and volleyball programs. Her team members have won NCAA national statistical honors as well as NCAA Post Graduate Scholarships. Shaw University won the CIAA Softball Championship four times (1993, 1994, 1996 and 2003) and the CIAA Volleyball Championship twice in 1993 and 1995. Ford-Kee was named CIAA Softball Coach of the Year in 1993, 1994, 1996 and 2003. The 1996 team was undefeated in the CIAA and compiled an overall seasonal record of 39-9. Ford-Kee led Shaw to a conference record of 212-86 and an overall mark of 309-207.
While competing in the sports of basketball and softball as a student at Fayetteville State University she was a member of the 1979 CIAA Women’s Basketball Championship Team and the 1982 CIAA Softball Championship Team. Ford-Kee earned several All Conference and Tournament Team honors and was selected MVP of the 1982 Softball Championship Tournament. In 1982, she was selected Fayetteville State University’s Athlete of the Year and was the youngest inductee into Fayetteville State University’s Athletic Hall of Fame (1997) and is a 2016 inductee into the CIAA Hall of Fame and will be inducted in Shaw University’s Athletic Hall of Fame this fall.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Fayetteville State University in 1982 and a Master’s Degree in Public Affairs from Northern Illinois University in 1984. A native of Lawrenceville, N.J., Ford-Kee was inducted into the inaugural class of Lawrence High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 as the first athlete in the history of the high school to score over 1000 points playing only 3 years of high school basketball. She currently holds basketball records that have not been broken at Lawrence High School in its 46 years of existence.
She is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (NACWAA), Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., and the National Council of Negro Women (Parliamentarian) and LIFT Community Leadership Council of Greenwood Mississippi.
Ford-Kee is married to Preston G. Kee, Jr., and the mother of Brandon and Fannézha Ford and Iman Kee.