Director of Athletics and Recreation

Rank: Administrator VII
Search Number: 
Job Posted: September 25, 2023

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) invites applications for the Director of Athletics and Recreation.  The Director of Athletics and Recreation provides strategic leadership for a comprehensive and competitive Division II athletics and recreation program within a university environment that promotes student engagement, athletic achievement, academic success, overall well-being, and persistence to graduation.  

About Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University is a diverse and student-centered university dedicated to academic excellence, access, and service for the public good. Southern provides a supportive and welcoming environment for all members of its community through a campus wide commitment to social justice.  Founded as a teachers’ college in 1893, Southern has evolved over the past century into a comprehensive public university of more than 8,800 students, offering graduate and undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and professional disciplines. It is one of four universities in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System. The University is located in New Haven, a city rich with arts and culture, and less than 90 miles from New York City and 140 miles from Boston.

Position Summary

The Director of Athletics and Recreation provides strategic leadership for a comprehensive and competitive Division II athletics program, as well as a robust recreation and fitness program, within a university environment that promotes student engagement, athletic achievement, academic success, overall well-being, and persistence to graduation. The Director of Athletics and Recreation articulates the role of a Division II collegiate athletics program; ensures that the athletics program remains committed to the university’s mission; and creates a positive culture that promotes respect, integrity, equity, inclusion, and compliance. The Director of Athletics and Recreation represents and advocates for the athletics and recreation department on campus and within the community. 

Position Responsibilities

Articulates a clear vision and strategy for the athletics department. Provides leadership and oversight for all aspects of the athletics and recreation program, including athlete development and well-being; financial planning and budget management; health, safety and risk management; event and game management; and facilities oversight, upkeep, scheduling and deferred maintenance planning. Establishes priorities and measures of success for various components of the athletics program. 

Oversees athletics and recreation department personnel, including full-time and part-time coaches, administrative and support staff, graduate interns and assistants, student employees and volunteers. Responsible for developing competitive and inclusive approaches to recruiting and hiring staff. Supports staff growth and development through effective onboarding, mentoring, supervision, training, and evaluation. 

Oversees the recruitment, educational progress and academic success of student athletes. Partners with relevant campus stakeholders (Admissions, Financial Aid, Honors College) to optimize the recruitment of athletes. Establishes strong working relationships with Student Affairs and academic partners to optimize the student-athlete experience. Ensures departmental and coach commitment to high academic standards and prioritizes the retention and progress to graduation of student-athletes. 

Supports the physical well-being and athleticism of student athletes through a comprehensive Sport Performance program with well- developed strength and conditioning and sports medicine programs. 

Values equity and inclusion as priorities in the athletics and recreation program with a strong commitment to promoting gender equity and ensuring a diverse, inclusive and anti-racist environment. 

Ensures the department operates with the highest level of integrity and in full compliance with all applicable university, state, federal, Title IX, NCAA and Conference rules and regulations pertaining to the athletics department. Maintains an updated policy and procedures manual. 
Develops and executes a strategy for revenue generation, including fund raising, sponsorships, facility rental, merchandise, and camps and clinics, in partnership with Institutional Advancement, to maximize visibility and income streams in support of student scholarships, athletics facility enhancements, and other departmental needs. 

Provides oversight for a comprehensive recreation and fitness program under the leadership of the Coordinator for Recreation and Fitness. Supports a club sports and intramurals program that attracts students to Southern, enhances student engagement, effectively administers student fees, and offers competitive play. Ensures the oversight of the Fitness Center to offer safe and effective exercise and engagement experiences. Encourages innovative approaches to student fitness and wellness and promotes student well-being in collaboration with partners on and off campus. 

Serves as the primary liaison with the NE10 Conference, GEC, NCAA and other relevant organizations, attending meetings and athletics events as required. 

Maximizes visibility for the athletics and recreation program through campus and community engagement, integrating athletics and recreation into the overall student experience. Works cooperatively with the entire campus community, as well as alumni and external stakeholders, to develop university spirit and pride. Intentionally integrates athletics activities into the overall life of the campus and beyond. Ensures promotion of the athletics program through effective public relations and media exposure. 

Provides regular updates on all aspects of the athletics and recreation program to the President, Vice President for Student Affairs and designees. 

Serves as a member of the Student Affairs divisional leadership team, serves on campus committees, and represents the department as appropriate. 

Performs other duties and responsibilities related to those enumerated above which do not alter the basic level of responsibility of the position. 


A Bachelor’s degree plus seven years full-time, progressively responsible administrative experience in intercollegiate athletics required; master’s degree strongly preferred. 

Additional required qualifications: 

  • Proven leadership and management skills, particularly as they relate to establishing and communicating priorities, advancing innovative practices, building strategic partnerships, and solving complex problems; 
  • A collaborative management approach with relationship-building skills, experience building a team, and leading and/or supervising the work of others; 
  • A clear commitment to social justice, gender equity and anti-racism, and a high degree of cultural awareness and competence, demonstrating respect for a diversity of identities and experiences; 
  • Highly effective written and oral communication skills with the ability to deliver information in a clear, concise and articulate manner to multiple stakeholder groups; 
  • Strong record of promoting student athletes’ academic excellence, personal development, well-being and full participation in all aspects of campus life;
  • Comprehensive understanding of the role of intercollegiate athletics at a regional, comprehensive, public university committed to a mission of academic excellence, access, social justice and service for the public good; and, 
  • Demonstrated commitment to follow the letter and spirit of NCAA rules. 
  • Preferred qualifications: 
  • Professional interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence necessary to work effectively with multiple stakeholder groups and navigate a complex environment; 
  • Experience setting and managing multiple priorities, meeting deadlines, and working cooperatively within a team environment; 
  • Strong planning and fiscal competencies with financial and enrollment modeling;
  • Experience with alumni engagement and fund raising; 
  • Understanding of the role of a Division II athletics program; 
  • Experience working with club sports, intramurals, outdoor recreation, fitness, or related programs; 
  • Coaching experience, preferably on the collegiate level; and 
  • Familiarity with a collective bargaining environment. 

These qualifications may be waived for individuals with substantially comparable credentials and/or experience.


For full consideration, please submit a letter of interest, resume and contact information for three professional references to Maria Vasquez at  For full consideration, please submit application materials no later than October 20, 2023.  The position will remain open until filled.


Southern Connecticut State University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. The University seeks to enhance the diversity of its faculty and staff. People of color, women, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.