The Northwestern State athletic department added two veteran athletic administrators to its senior staff Thursday.
Director of Athletics Kevin Bostian announced the additions of Associate Athletic Director of External Affairs Darian Westerfield and Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Development Ventric Fletcher to the NSU staff.
Westerfield brings more than two decades of experience in collegiate sports administration to his position, which coordinates and oversees external messaging for Northwestern State athletics, including marketing, development, ticketing and communications.
Westerfield comes to Natchitoches after spending the past 16 months at Pittsburg State University in Kansas. Westerfield joined the Pitt State staff as the assistant athletic director for external engagement in August 2021 and was promoted to associate AD in July 2022.
While at Pitt State, Westerfield oversaw and coordinated all external engagement activities for Gorilla athletics. He served as the department’s liaison to Peak Sports Management while also overseeing the Silverback Fund, the Pitt State athletics’ annual giving program.
During his tenure at Pitt State, Westerfield also served on the Missouri Intercollegiate Athletic Association Conference Basketball Championship Committee.
A Missouri native, Westerfield has been an associate athletic director at Drury University (Aug. 2019-May 2020), a senior associate athletic director at Western Illinois (Jan. 2017-April 2018) and St. Bonaventure (Nov. 2013-March 2015) and an assistant athletic director at Eastern Kentucky (Aug. 2018-July 2019) and Morehead State (Oct. 2011-Oct. 2013).
Westerfield also has served as the general manager for sports properties at Oral Roberts and Oakland University.
He began his collegiate athletics career as an athletic annual giving coordinator at the University of Memphis in March 2002.
A 1997 graduate of Lindenwood University in political science, public administration and non-profit management and a 1999 Missouri State University master’s of public administration graduate, Westerfield began his athletics administration career as an intern with the Shreveport Regional Sports Authority from August 1999-May 2000.
“Darian has seen and done just about everything you can do in the external realm of college athletics,” Bostian said. “He has held similar positions at programs on a similar scale of Northwestern State, which will make his transition a smooth one. He has made a quick, successful transition to NSU.”
Fletcher is an Alexandria native who joined the NSU staff from Grambling where he served as the assistant athletic director for athletic academic services.
He will oversee the NSU athletic academic staff as well as the NSU Student-Athlete Advisor Committee.
Prior to a short stint at Grambling, Fletcher was the associate director of student-athlete services at his alma mater, Southern, for nearly two years beginning in November 2019.
A two-time Southern graduate (B.A. in political science, M.A. in social science), Fletcher was in charge of the Student-Athlete Leadership Academy at Grambling that developed and facilitated workshops on key topics of leadership development for teams and staff and was the GSU department liaison for the ARISE STEM Mentoring Program, instituted in conjunction with NCAA Leadership development and AthLEDA.
Fletcher brings Power Five and Group of Five experience to Northwestern State, having ben an athletic academic counselor for Mississippi State football and a senior academic advisor and learning specialist for Tulane men’s basketball.
Before those stops, Fletcher spent two years at Southern as the director of academic advising and CHAMPS Life Skills after working in Southern’s Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence as an academic advisor for student-athletes and public policy students.
A former Southern football player, Fletcher was part of the NCAA’s Dr. Charles Whitcomb Leadership Institute from 2020-22 and ahs been a presenter at the NCAA Accelerated Academic Success Program.
“What Ventric has done in his career speaks for itself,” Bostian said. “His dedication to assisting student-athletes in reaching their goals has been proven at each stop he has made. Couple that with his ability to relate to them as a former student-athlete, it was an easy decision to bring him to Northwestern State.”