Pluger named interim AD at Central State


WILBERFORCE — Central State University President Dr. Jack Thomas has announced a nationwide search for Central State University’s next Director of Athletics.

Associate Director of Athletics Nicole Pluger will serve as Interim Director of Athletics until a permanent Director of Athletics is named.

“I thank Dr. Thomas for his leadership and dedication to the success of Marauder Athletics as well as his assistance during this transition period. I also appreciate the hard work of our former Athletics Director Tara A. Owens who put forth a great effort to get us to this point,” Pluger said. “I’m excited to continue working with our coaches, students, and support staff as we remain steadfast in our approach to position our student-athletes for success in competition and academically.”

Pluger originally came to CSU in January of 2022 serving as the Associate Athletics Director of Compliance. Prior to coming to CSU, Pluger has held several roles in higher education of increasing responsibility including, Associate Athletic Director of Compliance at Urbana University and head coach of the Urbana University softball team, leading the Blue Knights to 106 wins over that span. In 2007, Pluger helped her squad capture the program’s first conference championship, earning AMC and Region IX Coach of the Year honors. The following season, the team acquired its first national ranking. Pluger ended her coaching career as the winningest head coach in UU softball history. She posted a pair of 20-win seasons. In four of her six seasons, the team improved its overall record while making back-to-back appearances in the Region IX tournament in 2007 and 2008.

“We are currently conducting our national search to find the next leader of Marauder athletics. We will identify a qualified candidate in a time frame that best suites the future needs of our program,” says President Thomas. “We look forward to reviewing each candidate thoroughly with great thought and analysis. We want a dynamic leader who will serve as a unifying force while we continue to build a thriving athletics program where our student-athletes excel both in the classroom and in competition.”

Qualified candidates are encouraged to review and formally apply for the position on


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