Football

The area born is assistant AD for relationships with soccer players

The area native is assistant athletic director for football player relations

Photo by John Raffel

Baldwin native and current LSU athletic director Ira Childress (right) engages in a conversation with a cousin, Brandon Childress, also a Baldwin native and former Ferris football player, after the Panthers won the March 10th district championship.

Baldwin native and current LSU athletic director Ira Childress (right) engages in a conversation with a cousin, Brandon Childress, also a Baldwin native and former Ferris football player, after the Panthers won the March 10th district championship.

John Raffel/Pioneer photo

BALDWIN β€” Ira Childress was a long way from home as he cheered for Baldwin in the Division 4 District boys’ basketball title game on Friday, March 10.

But the 1994 Baldwin High graduate was happy to be back in his hometown to cheer for the Panthers to a title.

Childress is the assistant athletic director for football player relations at LSU.

“It’s always good to come back and support the Panthers here,” he said. β€œIt’s nice to see the kids playing hard. You have a really excellent team. I was here and in town for spring break to visit family.”

Childress joined the LSU Football team in January 2022 at the invitation of current coach Brian Kelly, who has more than 15 years of sports administration experience.

“I enjoy working with the players and the student-athletes all the time,” he said, “helping them to thrive off the field and be part of one of the best football programs in the country. My focus is on football and just being a part of it. We had a great year last year, winning 10 games and a bowl game. That was big. We are expecting a good result again this year.”

Childress said Kelly invited him to come to Baton Rogue.

“He recruited me to come to Grand Valley when I was playing for Baldwin,” Childress said. “He called me to come to Dartmouth and the rest is history.

Childress served as Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations at Dartmouth College. He began his career as an administrator in the Alumni Relations and Advancement Office at his alma mater, Ferris State, before moving to the NCAA National Office.

He was Assistant Director of Leadership Development for the NCAA, responsible for delivering innovative programs that help positively impact hundreds of NCAA athletic students, coaches and administrators.

He was also the NFL liaison for the development of student-athlete and coach education programs.

Childress then served as athletic director at Okemos High School in Okemos, MI and at Gulliver Prep in Miami, Florida, where he applied his creativity and vision to create innovative solutions and championship experiences for student-athletes, coaches, and the community.

Childress was named a finalist for Varsity Brands National High School Athletic Director of the Year in 2019 and 2020. He is also the bestselling author of Beating the Odds: From Poverty to Prominence.

Childress at Ferris earned his bachelor’s degree in applied language communication, his master’s degree in education and was a football student and athlete.

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