Dr. Ira Zeff

Faculty/Staff profile

Director of Athletics
(402) 465-2360
Weary Center 201

Dr. Ira Zeff is the Director of Athletics at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he oversees 18 intercollegiate sports (nine for men and nine for women).

Since Zeff was hired in August 1998, Nebraska Wesleyan has consistently ranked among the NCAA Division III leaders in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings.

NWU has also claimed its conference All-Sports Trophy six times under Zeff, despite being the lone school not giving athletic scholarships in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, which is currently composed of 11 NAIA member institutions.

Now in his 14th year at NWU, Zeff has overseen many improvements to Nebraska Wesleyan’s athletic facilities. Most recently, he completed the new Woody Greeno Track (2011), coordinated a new video replay board scoreboard in Abel Stadium (2009), the resurfacing project on the floor in Knight Fieldhouse (2005) and construction of the baseball team’s new home facility (2004). Prior to that, Zeff oversaw the installation of Fieldturf™ and lights within Abel Stadium (2002). Lights were also added to the Harold G. Chaffee Field, just north of the Weary Center for Health & Fitness.

Currently Zeff is the chair of the NCAA Division III Championships Committee after being elected in January 2009. In addition, Zeff served as chair of the NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Committee for two years and was chair of the West Region Advisory Committee for four years. He was recently selected to serve a four-year term on the NCAA Div. III Championships Committee and received an Outstanding Service Award from the NABC. He is also an active member of NACDA and past vice president for the Association of Division III Independents.

He previously served as athletic director at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Ill., for seven years. In addition to directing a 12-sport athletic program, Zeff served as the head men’s basketball coach at Blackburn. His basketball teams won three St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SLIAC) championships and placed fourth in the National Small College Athletic Association (NSCAA) championships three times. He was a member of the NCAA Div. III Midwest Region basketball committee and the NSCAA district director for men’s and women’s basketball from 1993 to 1996.

A native of Cincinnati, Zeff earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education in 1974 at The College of Wooster, his master of education in physical education at East Stroudsburg University (Pa.) in 1975 and his Ph.D. in physical education at the University of New Mexico in 1985. While at New Mexico, he was an assistant men’s basketball coach for six years.