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DII Through and Through

Longtime New Haven director of athletics will continue to serve in retirement

For 42 years, Deborah Chin has worked to provide opportunities for New Haven student-athletes. University of New Haven photo

Even in retirement, Deborah Chin’s desire to help Division II succeed will shine through.

Despite stepping down Feb. 15 after a 42-year career at the University of New Haven, the last 24 as director of athletics, Chin will remain active in the NCAA division in which she has contributed so much.

She will help expand the Division II Coaches Connection program and other Division II governance initiatives.

“I’m a Type A personality,” Chin said. “I will serve Division II and the Association any way that I can.”

Chin’s tireless efforts throughout her career can be traced back to the first time she decided to step onto the campus at New Haven in 1975. These were the early days of Title IX, when interpretations were starting to be known.

New Haven hired Chin to be the coordinator for women’s athletics.

“They were progressive in recognizing the need for women’s programs,” said Chin, who in 1968 graduated with a degree in physical education from SUNY Cortland. “I coached four sports: volleyball, tennis, basketball and softball.”

At the time, New Haven had around 1,000 students, but only 20 percent were women. The programs grew and, in 1979, Chin was promoted to associate director of athletics. She gave up coaching all the sports except volleyball.

She worked both jobs until 1993, when she was named director of athletics. In 18 seasons of competition as head coach for the Chargers volleyball team, she posted a 572-178 record and was only the fifth Division II coach to win 500 career matches. New Haven made 10 trips to the NCAA tournament during Chin’s tenure as head coach. Her teams posted 12 seasons with at least 30 wins.

While building New Haven’s athletics department, Chin also served in the NCAA’s governance structure and on its sports committees. She has served as the chair of the Division II’s Management Council, Women’s Volleyball Committee and Baseball Committee.

“One of the things I’m most proud of is staying at New Haven and in Division II,” said Chin, who earned a master’s degree from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1972. “I loved Division II. I embraced it through actions. This was the right place for me and the young people I wanted to work with. They wanted an education, and we wanted them to achieve in the classroom. Along with that, we wanted them to have success in their athletic experience.”

About Champion

Champion magazine goes behind the headlines and beyond the scoreboards to celebrate the unique connection between Americans and college sports. Champion is published by the NCAA.