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Future of Athletic Department


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For Immediate Release


Contact: Catherine Herman (518) 956-8150




Athletic Director Pledges to Deliver Football Stadium for UAlbany


Athletic Program Success Also Highlighted as McElroy Receives Five-Year Extension


ALBANY, N.Y. (February 2, 2007) -- University at Albany Provost and Officer in Charge Susan Herbst announced that Lee A. McElroy, vice president for athletic administration and director of intercollegiate athletics, received a new five-year appointment running through 2011. McElroy, in his seventh year in charge of university athletics, provides leadership for UAlbany’s NCAA Division I 19-sport intercollegiate athletics program for men and women.


During McElroy’s tenure, UAlbany has won 18 conference championships and made NCAA appearances in men's basketball, men's lacrosse, women's volleyball, softball and men's and women's track and field. In 2004-05, the Great Danes were awarded the Commissioner's Cup as the America East Conference's top athletic program. In 2005-2006, UAlbany’s NCAA academic progress rate (APR) -- the formula NCAA member colleges and universities have adopted to improve academic success and graduation of student athletes -- was above the 90th percentile for the third consecutive year.


McElroy has also worked to renew the men's and women's basketball cross-town rivalry with Siena College, led the development of a master plan to upgrade UAlbany’s athletic and recreational complex, including plans to construct a new stadium for the university’s Division I-AA football team. Fund-raising efforts for the University’s top non-academic project, which will also benefit the Capital Region community, have been initiated.


McElroy was instrumental in securing a $2.75 million commitment from SEFCU to name the university's Recreation and Convocation Center for a 10-year period. The facility, known as the SEFCU Arena, is the home for UAlbany's men's and women's basketball teams.


“It is with great pleasure that I extend a new five-year appointment to Lee as the University at Albany’s vice president for athletic administration and director of intercollegiate athletics,” said Herbst, who also serves as UAlbany’s provost and executive vice president. “Dr. McElroy has been instrumental in overseeing the academic and on-field success of our students, and we are happy he will oversee the next phase of success for the UAlbany Great Danes.”


“The previous seven years have been successful due to the commitment and dedication of student athletes, coaches and staff who achieved academic and athletic excellence while maintaining the highest standards of integrity and public service,” said McElroy. “The future looks brighter due to the support of the faculty, the student body, alumni and the Capital Region community.”


“The continued success of University at Albany athletics has helped to heighten awareness about all this city and region have to offer,” said Hon. Gerald D. Jennings, mayor of Albany. “I congratulate Lee for seven years of excellence and look forward to him continuing to enrich our community as a leader and champion for UAlbany intercollegiate sports.”


“SEFCU’s partnership with UAlbany for SEFCU Arena has helped us create a unique collaboration, bringing together public and private entities to develop programs and events that will enrich the university community and the entire Capital Region.," said Michael J. Castellana, SEFCU's president and CEO. “I am thrilled that Dr. McElroy will continue to help us build our relationship with UAlbany in the coming years.”


McElroy, who is a member of the university's executive committee, spearheaded a successful search for a broad-based athletic conference when the University accepted an invitation to join the America East Conference in the 2001-02 academic year.


McElroy, who serves as president of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) in 2006-07, was also a key figure as the University successfully completed the NCAA's second cycle of Division I athletics certification. He was honored with the 2004 General Robert R. Neyland Outstanding Athletic Director Award by the All-American Football Foundation.


McElroy, who played football at UCLA in the late 1960s, was previously American University’s director of athletics for four years. American, a Division I school in Washington, D.C., competed in the Colonial Athletic Association. In that period, the AU athletic department upgraded to 19 sports, expanded corporate partners by 400 percent, and planned capital projects for a fitness facility, intramural field and soccer stadium. McElroy founded the Eagle Club, the department’s fundraising arm, and developed a program rated as one of the top ten in the nation in its compliance with NCAA gender equity requirements.


McElroy served as president of the America East Conference Executive Committee in the 2003-04 academic year, and has gained national prominence for his roles with numerous professional organizations and NCAA committees. He served a three-year term on the NCAA Division I Management Council as one of four at-large representatives from I-AA or I-AAA conferences. McElroy previously worked on four prestigious NCAA Committees: Athletics Certification, Financial Aid, Degree Completion Program, and the NCAA Special Committee on Agents and Amateurism.


In 1998, McElroy was named to the NACDA Executive Committee for the University Division, and chair of the Sears Directors Cup Committee. The Sears Directors Cup is the only national award and academic scholarship program to recognize all NCAA and NAIA championship sports for women and men.


From 1989-96, McElroy was the director of athletics at California State University-Sacramento. He led the program’s transition from Division II to Division I and engineered a move to the Big Sky and Big West conferences. He also implemented a strategic plan that developed a corporate partners plan, created an effective fundraising and marketing program, redesigned academic support services, improved the athletic facilities complex, and provided for campus and community outreach programs.


McElroy also worked at the University of Houston from 1981 to 1988 as an assistant director of men’s and women’s sports and as an associate director of athletics, and for one year as the director of athletics at The University of the District of Columbia. Before joining the Houston staff, he taught in the public school systems of Santa Monica, California and Beaumont, Texas, and was a high school principal in Beaumont.


Along with his duties for the NCAA, McElroy has testified before congressional committees on issues in college athletics, such as gender equity, the welfare of the minority student-athlete, and the academic/athletic balance. McElroy serves on the boards of the National Consortium of Academics and Sports, Athletic Business magazine, and the National Minority Golf Association. He is also a fellow at the Institute of Ethics and Sportsmanship at the University of Rhode Island.


McElroy, who resides with his wife, Karen, in Slingerlands, earned his B.S. in political science and history from UCLA in 1970. He later received a M.Ed. from the University of Southern California, and an Ed.D. from the University of Houston.


The University at Albany's broad mission of excellence in undergraduate and graduate education, research and public service engages 17,000 diverse students in 10 schools and colleges, including the Honors College. For more information about this internationally ranked institution, visit www.albany.edu. For UAlbany's extensive roster of faculty experts, visit www.albany.edu/news/experts.htm.


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Maybe not the news we were hoping for but good news no matter. Great to have the stability in the athletics department to keep moving forward.

From just a quick look at his resume, it looks like McElroy is spending as much time at the college level at UAlbany as he has anywhere else. Very good for stability.

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