27 Apr 2022

Saint Augustine’s University Appoints Former NFL Standout as Dean of Exercise Science and Collegiate Athletics

Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) appoints Dr. J. Lin Dawson as its Dean of Exercise Science and Collegiate Athletics. 

In this role, Dr. Dawson will use his 30 years of experience in collegiate athletics to advance the student experience in exercise science at Saint Augustine’s University. 

Dr. Dawson previously served as the Director of Athletics at Clark Atlanta University. In this role, he was pivotal — leading a $2.4 million athletics facilities enhancement and growing scholarships from 52 to 82. 

“Lin Dawson is a significant addition to the Saint Augustine’s University family. We are confident that he will immediately impact our campus and our student experience,” said SAU President Dr. Christine Johnson McPhail. 

While at Clark Atlanta University, Dawson also improved student academic performance. Under his leadership, 84% of student-athletes held a 3.0 GPA or better, and academic success ratings increased from 41% to 74%. 

“I have dedicated my life to creating positive academic experiences for students,” said Dr. Dawson, newly appointed Dean of Exercise Science and Collegiate Athletics. “This appointment provides me with another opportunity to serve as a mentor and curriculum leader for students at Saint Augustine’s University.”  

Dr. Dawson’s career has also allowed him to serve as a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Following his career with the National Football League (NFL), Dr. Dawson assisted the National Basketball Association (NBA) and Major League Soccer in launching diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. 

Dr. Dawson had a four-year career at North Carolina State University. The NFL’s New England Patriots then drafted him. Dr. Dawson would play ten seasons with them and contribute to the Team’s 1986 AFC Championship and Super Bowl XX appearances. In addition, the New England Patriots voted him to their Team of the ’80s. Dr. Dawson earned a Ph.D. from Regent University in Virginia Beach.