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Dave Odell ’89 has raced down the court as a Warrior athlete and cheered from the bleachers as a faithful fan. In January he took on yet another role as Westmont’s athletic director. His experience as a basketball player, a volunteer for the athletic program and a successful businessman has prepared him well for the task. Odell replaces Dave Wolf, who stepped down after 11 years to concentrate on coaching the men’s and women’s soccer teams.
In addition to developing successful ventures such as TynanGroup Inc., Anchor Point IT Solutions and MedBridge Development Company LLC, Odell has taught economics and business classes on campus for six years. From 2002 to 2005 and since 2007 he has chaired the Warrior Sports Advisory Board, which advises the athletic program. Former President Stan Gaede appointed him to the Presidential Task Force on Athletics in 2005.
Odell sees great value in the mission of the college and the athletic department. “Athletic competition serves as a laboratory compelling students to learn lessons for life about teamwork, discipline, communication, self-sacrifice, perseverance, drive and endurance,” he says. “The integration of first-rate academics, high-level athletic competition and Christian commitment makes Westmont unique among its peers. The student-athlete who can maintain a rigorous academic schedule and develop the fortitude to make a winning shot is developing characteristics needed to lead communities of people, instigate movements for change and innovation and mentor the next generation of leaders.”
Athletics — and Westmont — run in the family. Odell’s parents both graduated from the college, and his father, Bill ’64, is the athletic director at Azusa Pacific University and a former basketball coach there. Susie Odell Maga ’91, his sister, played volleyball for Westmont, earned All-American honors and works as the athletic director for St. Margaret’s High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Odell’s wife, DeAnna ’88, another Westmont alumna, ran cross country and track during her college days.
“I’ll be looking at our programs with a business mindset,” Odell said. “One of my goals is bringing athletics up to the level of our academic program.”