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Prior to the 1970s, Madison was known as a women's college. JMU's transformation into a respected, regional, codeducational university was remarkable and fast — and athletics played a signficant role in the change. Steering sports programs from 1971 to his retirement 22 years later, Dean Ehlers, the university's first full-time director of athletics, led the meteoric rise from a small college athletics program to a nationally recognized Division I program. With leadership universally know for integrity, he helped finesse a new Madison reputation, enabling a change that many said was impossible. History, though, testifies to his essential and important role in creating the new perception of Madison."Dean of Madison Athletics"