Valparaiso University names new director of athletics

Charles Small
Charles Small

Valparaiso University has found its next director of athletics.

Charles Small, Ed.D., will take over the post, which had been held the past 18 years by Mark LaBarbera, who announced in February he would retire June 30. Small begins his new role July 1.

Small will be the college’s 16th director of athletics but just the third person to serve that role in the last 43 years. He will be the university’s first black director of athletics and spent the past four years as a member of the senior staff at Iowa State University’s athletic department.

“I am honored to be named director of athletics at Valparaiso University,” Small said. “Valparaiso University’s legacy of preparing students to lead and serve in both church and society aligns with my core values.”

Small presently is senior associate athletic director for student services at ISU. He is the lead administrator for sports medicine, compliance, strength and conditioning, former student-athlete relations and academic support services for student-athletes.

Small serves as sport administrator for the Cyclones’ men’s basketball and wrestling programs.

Small has extensive experience in collegiate administration and athletics. Before joining Iowa State, he previously worked at the University of Arkansas, the University of New Orleans, and the University of Pittsburgh.  

Small earned his Doctor of Education from the University of Pittsburgh in 2013 after earning his Master of Social Work in 2007 and his Bachelor of Arts in social work from Pitt in 2006.

He is a native of Detroit. Small and his wife, Celeste, have two sons, Dominic and Aiden.


Scroll to Top