Tony Duckworth became the sixth Director of Athletics at Northeastern State University on June 13, 2011. Duckworth reports directly to NSU’s CEO while serving on the President’s Executive Council. He was appointed chair of the search committee by the CEO during Spring 2015 for NSU’s V.P. for Administration and Finance. As Chief Athletics Officer, he led the final year of transition into the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association and NSU has won twelve MIAA championships, had 30 top two conference finishes and twenty-five NCAA appearances during the six year’s in the league. Northeastern State sponsors ten NCAA Division II sports and he has hired six of the nine current head coaches. Two of Duckworth’s former NSU hires are current NCAA Division I head coaches. Duckworth began a 4-year term on September 1, 2018 on the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball Committee after representing the MIAA on the Regional Advisory Council for men’s basketball for three seasons (2012 – 2015) and serves on the MIAA Athletics Administrators Council, Championships Committee and served as a member of the Strategic Planning Committee with MIAA CEO’s. NSU Athletics has enjoyed multiple capital improvements during Duckworth’s tenure including, but not limited to: the $18 million Event Center that became home to RiverHawks Basketball in November 2013, Doc Wadley Stadium’s turf and video board replacement in 2015 and the 2018 stadium sports medicine center and locker room renovation. Academically student-athletes overall GPA is approximately 3.0 each semester while NSU’s NCAA Academic Success Rate (ASR) has improved from 65 to 71. This is the 26th year Duckworth has been involved in intercollegiate athletics.
Prior to NSU, Duckworth was Director of Athletics at NCAA Division II Maryville University – St. Louis. Maryville sponsored 17 NCAA Division II sports. He led Maryville through a significant transition as the university reclassified from Division III to Division II in 2008. Maryville completed the three year reclassification process in 2011. Duckworth also led Maryville’s application, presentations and admission into the Great Lakes Valley Conference in October 2008. GLVC competition began during Fall 2009.
Huntingdon College (Alabama) was the stop for Duckworth prior to Maryville where he worked from 2001 – 2007 as Head Men’s Basketball Coach while serving as Associate Athletics Director during the last three years of his tenure. During that time he had the 2nd most wins in college history which included his team winning both the 2006 Great South Athletic Conference Regular Season and Tournament Championships, and Duckworth was named 2006 GSAC Coach of the Year. The 20 –7 season (2006-2007) marked the best winning% and most wins in 41 years while finishing 1st in NCAA Division III in Defensive FG% (35.4%) which ranks 1st All-Time in NCAA Division III history. The Hawks also won 13 consecutive games to end the season, which tied the school record from the 1961-62 season. Including the 2006-2007 season, Huntingdon had the best 3 consecutive seasons in 39 years (53 wins), including 3 consecutive GSAC Final 4 tournament appearances – 2006 Champions. During that same span, Huntingdon had 23 road victories while winning 21 of their last 22 home games over two seasons.
During the 2004-2005 season (17 – 10), Huntingdon Basketball finished 3rd in the NCAA in Defensive FG% (37%), and 6th in the NCAA in Rebounding Margin (+9.3); while the 2003-2004 team (16 – 11) finished with the 5th Best Turnaround in NCAA D3. During the 5 years of membership in the GSAC, members of Duckworth’s program have been recognized - including: 10 All-Academic Team, 6 All-Freshman Team, 1 All-Region, and 8 All-Conference selections including the 2006 Player of the Year and 2007 Freshman of the Year.
Prior to Duckworth’s arrival to Huntingdon, he turned the Belhaven College (Mississippi) program around while being one of the youngest four-year college head coaches in the nation when he took over the program at the age of 28. His Belhaven squad made the 2001 NAIA Division II National Tournament during his 4th season at the helm while ranking 1st in NAIA Division II in Rebounding Margin (+10.6). This was only the 2nd national tournament appearance for the Blazers in their 46 years of intercollegiate basketball competition. During his last two seasons, Duckworth led the program to 25 consecutive weeks of being nationally ranked while winning 37 games over that span. He also left the Belhaven program as the 2nd winningest coach in school history after just 4 seasons, while coaching 2 All-Americans and 2 Academic All-Americans.
Duckworth was the Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach and Recruiting Coordinator from 1992-96 at Covenant College (Georgia) an NAIA Division II program. The three years Duckworth was the Recruiting Coordinator, he recruited four TVAC All-Freshman Team players and one transfer recruit was named an NAIA All-American. During the three seasons Duckworth was the Recruiting Coordinator, Covenant compiled 35 conference wins.
Duckworth also has International head coaching experience. Duckworth has led two American All-Star teams (1992 and 1996) to compete overseas in international competition in Costa Rica.
Duckworth’s memberships include the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, Division II Athletics Director Association and the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He had an essay published in Chicken Soup for the Soul Inside Basketball in 2009.
Duckworth is married to Amy Coverdell of Collinsville, Illinois. The couple has three sons: Chaney, Evan and Cole.
1994 Master of Education, University of Tennessee (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
1990 Bachelor of Science, Financial Management, Bob Jones University (Greenville, S.C.)