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UWRF removes interim tag on Lanning

Crystal Lanning

Hastings resident Crystal Lanning, who has served as interim director of athletics at UW-River Falls since 2016, will assume the duties on a permanent basis effective April 1, the university announced Monday, March 19.

"I am confident that Crystal will continue to provide outstanding leadership for Falcon athletics and serve as a valuable member of the cabinet and the university's leadership team," said UW-River Falls Chancellor Dean Van Galen.

Lanning will lead a department which offers 17 NCAA Division III programs and has over 40 full-time, part-time and volunteer staff. She will oversee all facets of the Athletic Department including operations, budget, marketing and fundraising initiatives.

"I am truly honored for the opportunity to serve the Athletics Department as the director of athletics," Lanning said. "I look forward to continuing to work with our coaches, staff and student-athletes and building relationships with our alumni and campus and community partners."

Lanning currently serves on the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey Championship Committee as well as the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Men's Basketball Sport Committee.

At UWRF, Lanning manages the Athletic Department's Title IX compliance efforts and strategic plan and is a member of the Chancellor's Cabinet, Foundation Development Team and Faculty Senate Athletic Committee while also chairing the Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. She served on the design team for the new Falcon Center for Health, Education and Wellness and is also a member of the facility's operations committee.

Lanning earned a bachelor's degree in exercise science from Winona State University and a master's degree in kinesiology and health promotion from the University of Kentucky.

She came to UWRF in 2004 as an assistant athletic trainer, lecturer and academic adviser and became assistant athletic director/senior woman administrator in 2009. She was promoted to associate athletic director/senior woman administrator in 2014. She was also interim athletic director in 2010.

Lanning worked as assistant commissioner for membership services for the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) in 2015-16. She oversaw the operation of the NSIC's soccer, volleyball, baseball and women's swimming and diving competitions and assisted with the men's and women's basketball tournaments. She also oversaw implementation of the conference's 2014-19 Strategic Plan and served on the NCAA Division II Women's Soccer Central Region Advisory Committee.

She returned to UWRF as interim director of athletics following the resignation of Roger Ternes in June 2016.

Lanning is a resident of Hastings, Minn.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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