SBJ/June 13 - 19, 2005/SBJ In Depth
General Sports Turf Systems Athletic Director of the Year Award
Published June 13, 2005
ADOY: Division I-A
Conference: Big East
Crouthamel will retire on June 30, ending nearly 30 years of service as AD. Since taking the post in 1978, he oversaw construction of the Carrier Dome and helped form the Big East Conference. His school’s teams won a national title in men’s basketball and nine national titles in men’s lacrosse, appeared in 14 football bowls and won 22 overall Big East championships.
Dave Hart Jr.
Florida State University
Career highlights: Since Hart took the job of AD in 1995, the university’s athletic department budget has doubled from $20 million to $40 million. Hart planned and guided an extensive master plan for athletics totaling more than $100 million, and helped lead the athletic department’s first major capital campaign, which raised more than $75 million for facilities and scholarships for all sports.
Kansas State University
Conference: Big 12
Career highlights: Weiser has been AD for just four years but already has helped the department stay in the black and establish its first reserve fund. The number of contributors to the school’s athletic scholarship fund is now well over 7,000, representing a nearly 50 percent increase from two years ago. The school has added new playing surfaces for football, men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, women’s tennis and track and field.
ADOY: Division I-AA/I-AAA
Robert Morris University
Career highlights: Hofacre took over as AD in 2000 and helped the university add seven Division I athletic programs, including men’s and women’s ice hockey. She oversaw the development of a new track and field complex and planned the construction of the school’s first on-campus football stadium, set to open this September. Hofacre died from cancer in January. She was 54.
Career highlights: White has coached football, basketball, baseball and golf. He’s been Elon’s AD since 1979 and has steered the school’s athletic program from NAIA to NCAA Division II and then to Division I. He’s presided over many improvements to athletic facilities, most recently the construction of Elon’s first on-campus football stadium.
Indiana State University
Conference: Missouri Valley
Career highlights: Myers was the school’s women’s basketball coach before moving into an administrative role in 1989. She has been AD for six years and during that time has strengthened the academic performance of student-athletes, leading to All-Academic Awards from the Missouri Valley Conference. Her résumé includes a successful pitch to get basketball great Larry Bird to return to the university to have his jersey retired. Myers is set to retire this year.
Conference: Big Sky
Career highlights: Barnes arrived on the campus six years ago and immediately went to work overhauling the school’s sports facilities. The school raised $6 million to complete football stadium renovations and to improve its indoor track and tennis facility and its soccer venue. Under Barnes’ guidance, the school’s athletic department budget has increased nearly 25 percent. Corporate sponsorships and private gifts have increased by more than 500 percent.
ADOY: Division II
Career highlights: Gavitt arrived as the school’s AD in 1999 and quickly started building the stature of the university’s sports teams. The Bulldogs enjoyed their most successful season in school history during the 2003-04 school year, winning four Northeast-10 Conference titles, sending eight teams to the NCAA tournament and winning their first conference Presidents’ Cup trophy.
Conference: Sunshine State
Career highlights: The Buccaneers established an athletic department in 1984 and Covone has been there from the start, first as women’s soccer coach. Since he took the AD post in 1998, the school has produced 79 All-Americans and 68 Scholar All-Americans. The school boasts the highest graduation rate of student-athletes in the Sunshine State Conference.
Conference: Mid-American Intercollegiate Athletics Association
Career highlights: Ferré has been calling the shots in the athletic department since 1996 and has focused his efforts on increasing scholarships and fund raising. Those efforts paid off by raising $4.25 million to renovate the school’s football stadium in time for the 2003-04 season. That same year, Washburn added women’s soccer as a full varsity sport.
Conference: RockyMountain Athletic
Career highlights: Schroeder has worked in the school’s athletic department since 1981, dating back to when she coached women’s basketball and tennis. She played those sports herself during her own collegiate career. She’s in her 10th year as AD and oversees 12 sports. Off campus, she’s on the NCAA’s Diversity Issue Project team and is a board member of the Metro Denver Sports Commission.
ADOY: Division III
Conference: New England Small College Athletic
Career highlights: As AD and chairman of the physical education department at Bates, Coffey administers 30 intercollegiate varsity and 12 competitive club-sports programs. Her school’s athletic programs attract more than 60 percent of the Bates student population annually. Coffey has 10 years of coaching experience at the college level, with 10 winning seasons.
The College of New Jersey
Conference: New Jersey Athletic
Career highlights: The school’s teams have won 22 national championships and finished second 19 times during McHugh’s 17 years as AD. He heads not only the school’s 21-sport intercollegiate program but also its intramurals, club sports and recreation division, and the Department of Campus Activities. While a student at Columbia University, McHugh was a varsity wrestler. He was team captain and named All-Ivy League twice. He’s since served as chairman of the NCAA’s Wrestling Committee.
Career highlights: Bock, named AD in 1995, coaches women’s volleyball. In fact, he’s the all-time leader in NCAA women’s volleyball coaching victories with a 1,032-169 record over 28 seasons. He led the college to its first NCAA Division III championship in 2004. As AD, he has recruited 20 head coaches for 18 different sports during his tenure.
Career highlights: Carnahan isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in his role as AD. In fact, he was among a corps of volunteer laborers and craftsmen who donated materials and their time to install a new playing surface, lights and a new scoreboard at the school’s football field, and to refurbish the track. He’s also coach of the school’s baseball team, whose players boast a graduation rate of 95 percent.
Career highlights: Reese has led the school’s athletic programs for seven years, and during that time has helped increase the amount of budgeted athletic financial aid by almost 70 percent for men and 300 percent for women. His initiatives have resulted in increased giving through the Yellow Jacket booster club of almost 500 percent. He oversees 14 men’s and women’s teams and cheerleading.
University of Mobile
Conference: Gulf CoastAthletic
Career highlights: Finishing his sixth year as Mobile’s AD, Bogar has directed the Rams to one national championship and 19 conference championships. He oversaw the renovation of the school’s gymnasium and soccer, baseball and softball fields. He initiated a scholar-athlete graduation award, student-athlete advisory council, reinstatement of women’s tennis, the start of women’s volleyball and the development of junior varsity programs in men’s and women’s soccer.
Conference: Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic
Career highlights: Rizzo is responsible for a department that has 140 student-athletes, eight head coaches and 16 assistant coaches. Since taking the AD job in 2002, he has added men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s cross country. He has added a new baseball field and doubled the size of the school’s weight room and athletic training facilities.
Point Loma Nazarene University
Conference: Golden State Athletic
Career highlights: At the university, Land has served as a professor of physical education (43 years), baseball coach (38 years), chairman of the physical education department (24 years) and AD (36 years). He led the development of a track and field venue, gymnasium and athletic training facility, baseball field, soccer field and tennis complex.
University of Ottawa
Conference: CanadianInteruniversity Sport
Career highlights: Over the past nine years, Gelineau has overseen the construction of a $21 million sports complex that includes two ice rinks, a multisport field and an 8,000-square-foot fitness center. The complex is operating at a profit two years ahead of schedule, and uses those profits to finance sports programs.
Broome Community College
Conference: Mid-State Athletic
Career highlights: Minch is the AD equivalent of a one-man band. For most of his tenure, he managed 13 varsity sports with the help of only a secretary and a couple of part-time workers. Only a few years ago did the school start funding a full-time assistant. Among his accomplishments while juggling his duties is establishing a program of faculty mentors for student-athletes and encouraging athlete study halls.
Central Florida Community College
Conference: Mid-Florida Athletic
Career highlights: Since taking over as AD in 1999, Zelinski has increased athletic endowment for scholarships by 70 percent. He led the construction of an athlete fitness center, baseball press box and indoor batting cages. He’s currently leading efforts to build clay tennis courts, replace baseball and softball scoreboards and secure lighting for the baseball complex.
St. Louis Community College-Meramec
Conference: Midwest Community College Athletic
Career highlights: Competitive success is only one of the highlights enjoyed by Bottger since becoming AD 14 years ago. He played a central role in developing a number of programs designed to help the performance of student-athletes in the classroom. Those include the Meramec President’s Cup, honoring the team with the highest semester grade-point average, the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and a monitoring program designed to improve academic support for athletes.
Conference: Arizona Community College Athletic
Career highlights: Geddis has been AD since 1994. He has implemented several programs to help the academic performance of student-athletes, including an academic tracking program used by the college to monitor the academic performance of athletes. Geddis is former president of the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference.