Joe Hakes was named Athletic Director at Illinois Institute of Technology in the summer of 2014. He brings over 30 years of intercollegiate experience to the Illinois Tech family.
Under Hakes’ guidance, Illinois Tech Athletics has already seen many positive changes. Since his arrival in 2014, the Keating Sports Center has undergone major renovations, including a new gym floor and state-of-the-art strength training equipment. Hakes has also guided the department in the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III, adding Men’s Volleyball at Illinois Tech in the process.
Hakes has spent over 25 years in college athletics as an Athletic Director, most recently serving in the role of Director of Athletics and Recreation at Division III Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois from 2008-2011. There, he oversaw 19 varsity programs, was a member of the enrollment management team, established the Faculty Liaison Program linking faculty members to our varsity teams, and served on different Planning Management Teams for upgrades to multiple athletics and university facilities. Hakes also oversaw the department’s “Big Blue Club,” which reached its highest membership in history under his watch.
During his time at Millikin, the Big Blue won College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Championships in Women’s Volleyball (2010) and Softball (2011). Hakes also served as the National Chair of the NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Committee, a role he stepped down from after the 2008 season.
Prior to Millikin, Hakes served as Athletic Director at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts from 2000-2008, overseeing 20 varsity sports. While at Gordon, Hakes was very active in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, serving as the Men’s Basketball and Men’s Soccer chair while also belonging to the Long Range Planning and Commissioner Search committees. At the university, Hakes was a member of the Provost’s Council, Faculty Athletic Committee, Campus Advisory Council, and taught a required first year seminar course: Christianity, Culture, and Character. Gordon captured nine Commonwealth Coast Conference Championships under Hakes.
Hakes served as Athletic Director and Associate Professor of Physical Education at two other schools prior to Gordon: King College in Bristol, Tennessee (1990-2000) and Moody Bible Institute (1986-1990). At King, he also served as Men’s Soccer, Men’s Tennis, and Women’s Basketball coach at different points in his tenure, winning NAIA District 24 Coach of the Year for Men’s Soccer in 1991 and guiding the 1993-1994 Women’s Basketball team to the #7 ranking in the final NAIA Division II poll. He also served as the President of the Tennessee-Virginia Athletic Conference (now called the Appalachian Athletic Conference) and was on the university’s Executive Committee, Faculty Athletic Committee, Faculty Building and Grounds Committee, and Campus Safety Committee. He also served as the Chair of the Faculty Relations Committee for two years.
At Moody Bible, Hakes also served as Men’s Soccer and Interim Women’s Basketball Coach. His Men’s Soccer team reached the semi-finals of the NCCAA Division II National Tournament in 1989. In his one year as Interim Head Coach of Women’s Basketball in 1986, Moody Bible won the NCCAA Division III National Championship. He also served as an NCCAA District Chair from 1987-1989.
Prior to his career as an Athletic Director, Hakes accrued valuable coaching experience at North Park University. Between 1981 and 1986, he started the varsity Men’s Soccer program and served as the Head Coach for five seasons, was the Men’s Tennis Coach for four seasons, and served as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach for three years. He also served as an admissions counselor, was the General Manager of the Tam Indoor Tennis Club, a member of the NCAA Division III Midwest Advisory Committee for Men’s Soccer, and a member of the ISAA Men’s Soccer Midwest Ranking Committee.
Hakes got his start in college athletics as a graduate assistant for intramurals at Western Illinois University for the 1979-1980 school year. He then served as Sports Information Director, P.E. Instructor, and volunteer Men’s Assistant Basketball Coach at Wheaton College in 1980-81.
Hakes is a member of the National Associate of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and a former member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He earned his B.A. in Physical Education and Secondary Education from Trinity College (now Trinity International) in Deerfield, Illinois in 1976 before earning his M.S. in Athletic Administration from Western Illinois in 1979.
Hakes currently resides in Chicago, Illinois with his wife Sue.