Zipp, who has led the department for the past five years, is departing to become the Director of Athletics at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, Ohio.
During that time, the Wilson, New York native guided the department as it accomplished a myriad of goals, most notably the transition into the Old Dominion Athletic Conference as well as the groundbreaking and ongoing construction of the 77,000 square foot James R. Wilkins, Jr. Athletics & Events Center.
This facility, which will be home to the Hornets men's and women's basketball, men's and women's indoor track & field and women's volleyball programs and is located immediately south of Sprint Field at Shentel Stadium, had its official groundbreaking in October and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.
Zipp shepherded the addition of women's golf as its 21st intercollegiate sport, celebrated ODAC championships in both baseball and field hockey and presided over a 15-month process to rebrand the athletic department's graphic identity.
As part of that rebrand, the department also adopted the concept of "21-sports, 1 team" that has become a mantra for student-athletes, coaches and staff.
Off-the-field, the nearly 500-member student-athlete population performed approximately 5000 hours of community service annually and raised its average GPA from 2.78 to 3.08.
Zipp also inaugurated a series of seminars for first year students covering such topics as leadership, university history, expectations, resources and the privilege of being an NCAA Division III student-athlete.
The full-time staff also grew under Zipp's leadership with men's and women's golf gaining a full-time head coach and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's lacrosse and men's and women's indoor and outdoor track & field all seeing full-time assistant coaches added.
"I want to thank Doug for all he has done for the department and the university in the past five years," Dr. Fitzsimmons said. "He has been an excellent leader for our coaches and athletic staff and a valuable member of my leadership team.
"The realization of the new athletic facility is due in large part to the work Doug did behind the scenes and I know that all of our student-athletes are going to appreciate playing and practicing in such a fine facility.
"We wish Doug and his wife, Cathy, the best as they return to Ohio."
For Zipp, he returns to the league where he got his start in intercollegiate athletics as he worked at fellow North Coast Athletic Conference member Kenyon College from 1996 until coming to SU in 2012.
"This is a bittersweet day for me," Zipp said. "I have truly enjoyed my time at Shenandoah and have been very invested in the construction of the Wilkins Athletics & Events Center.
"However, the opportunity that Ohio Wesleyan presents is just too good for me and my family to pass up. We are going to be returning to an area with extended family and many friends. Shenandoah will always hold a special place in my heart and I want everyone to remember that it is always 'A Great Day to be a Hornet!'"