Columbia College announces the appointment of Deborah Wardlaw as the College’s new Director of Athletics. Wardlaw who is no stranger to Columbia College Athletics, will lead the College’s division that has ten intercollegiate teams that participate in the NAIA.
She is a graduate of Lower Richland High School in Hopkins, SC; earned a Bachelor of Arts in Physical Education from Columbia College and has a Master of Science in Sport Management from Southern New Hampshire University. Inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association, South Carolina Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame, she was most recently inducted into the Columbia College Athletics’ Hall of Fame in April 2019.
Ms. Wardlaw was a dual athlete playing basketball and volleyball, while at Columbia College. In both sports she earned All-American honors. She spent 35 years in public education as a physical educator, girls’ basketball coach and athletics director in Richland School District One. She served on the South Carolina Athletic Coaches Association Board of Directors for 4-A and coached girls’ basketball for 24 years, earning 7 state championships and several coach of the year honors. She was honored with the “Key to the City” in Columbia, SC by Mayor Steve Benjamin and is recipient of the Wil Lou Gray Educators Award from her undergraduate alma mater. She recently receive recognition from the Lower Richland Basketball Alumni for outstanding contribution to athletics in the community.
Married to Stan Wardlaw and have three children Morgan, Donnie and Brandon Stroman and stepchildren Zanija and Zaire Wardlaw.
Columbia College athletics serves nearly 30% of the student body, with 174 student-athletes participating in one or more of the ten teams this year. This includes 72 first year students, who arrived on campus to begin their academic and athletic career as Koalas.