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Cal Maritime Selects Karen Yoder as Athletic Director

(Vallejo, California – May 18, 2020) – Karen Yoder will begin July 1, 2020 as Cal Maritime’s Director of Athletics following an extensive national search. Yoder will succeed retiring athletic director, Marv. Christopher to oversee the CSU Maritime Academy intercollegiate and intramural athletic programs. She has served as an administrator, instructor and coach with more than 20 years of experience at all competitive levels. Yoder is also a former college and professional athlete. She was most recently the Athletic Director at Mission Community College in Santa Clara, California.

Before her time at Mission College, the Napa native spent 24 years at the Division-I, Division-II, Division III, NAIA, community college, and high school levels. She has a combined 19 years of teaching experience as a kinesiology/physical education instructor at UC Davis (2004-18), Calistoga Elementary (2017-18), Diablo Valley College (2014-16), Napa Valley College (2002-04) and Cal State Hayward (1997-2000).

“Karen Yoder’s experience in working collaboratively to develop and implement strategic plans will be an invaluable skill in leading our athletic program,” said President Tom Cropper. “Our further growth and success in fully developing our student athletes both on and off the field requires someone with her knowledge and understanding.” Yoder brings to Cal Maritime her personal philosophy to serve the educational and personal development of all students. She strives to create a student athlete environment with an inclusive culture that includes an equity-minded approach that respects each individual student athlete. Yoder strongly identifies with Cal Maritime’s emphasis on student leadership development. She views athletics at all levels as providing a key platform in preparing students for the mental and physical challenges that encompass leadership development.

Karen Yoder earned both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology from California State University – East Bay.

The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard ranks Cal Maritime first among public California universities for graduate earnings 10 years after enrollment. The Academy is also one of only 15 four-year colleges in the U.S. to receive a perfect score for “value added” to student outcomes in a study by the Brookings Institute.


Established in 1929, California State University Maritime Academy is the only degree-granting maritime academy on the West Coast. Located in Vallejo, California, the campus serves approximately 1000 students and offers undergraduate degrees preparing students for careers in engineering, transportation, international relations, business, and global logistics. The new oceanography degree program launches in the fall of 2020. The Academy also offers a master's degree in Transportation and Engineering Management, as well as a number of extended learning programs and courses.


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Last updated: 8/27/20