Prominent UAlbany Athletic Director McElroy Announces Retirement, Remains as Senior Advisor to President on Athletic Advancement & Engagement
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Dr. Lee A. McElroy, Jr., a national leader in intercollegiate athletics for three decades, today announced his retirement as the University at Albany’s Vice President for Athletic Administration and Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, effective June 30, 2014.
UAlbany President Robert J. Jones has asked McElroy to serve as his senior advisor for Intercollegiate Athletics Advancement and Engagement through the remainder of this calendar year, a role he has accepted and will begin on July 1.
“Lee is nationally recognized for his work in advocating for both athletics and academics, and his commitment has resulted in UAlbany student-athletes having a consistent record of academic achievement,” President Jones said. “His 14 years here have been marked by athletic fortitude and achievement as well as academic excellence. I’m pleased Lee will conclude his service to the University and our community by working with me to continue instilling these values in students and throughout our community.”
“These 14 years have been the most gratifying experience anyone could have,” McElroy said. “Our student-athletes have brought honor to themselves and our University by excelling not only in their sports but in the classroom as well. The true role of intercollegiate athletics is to build mind, body and spirit, and I cannot thank enough the coaches, student-athletes, parents, donors, alumni, faculty and staff who have helped make our program admired among our peers.”
McElroy joined UAlbany in 2000 as Director of Athletics. In this post, he provides leadership to UAlbany’s 19 NCAA Division I athletic programs. He came to UAlbany from American University, where he served as director of athletics for four years. Prior to that, he served as director of athletics at California State University, Sacramento.
McElroy is nationally recognized for his work increasing minority representation in coaching, and he has testified before Congress on such issues in college athletics as gender equity; the welfare of the minority student-athlete; and the academic/athletic balance. McElroy was elected President of the National Association of College Athletics Directors in 2007. In 2010, McElroy was appointed to the Minority Opportunities Athletic Association Board of Directors. He was among ten intercollegiate athletic directors named by the NCAA to a new program, the NCAA Champions Forum, which is dedicated to bringing minority football coaches closer to the hiring process. McElroy also currently serves on the America East Conference Executive Committee.
During his tenure at UAlbany, McElroy has overseen the growth of the University’s athletics programs from Division II to a successful member of Division I, and several programs annually compete for trips to NCAA post-season play. This brings the total number of conference titles to 74 with 31 NCAA post season appearances. Last year, UAlbany opened a new, state-of-the-art multi-sports complex featuring Bob Ford Field, where the Great Danes football team began its first year as a member of the Colonial Athletic Conference.
“I have been very fortunate to direct the athletics programs here at UAlbany where institutional leaders have consistently supported intercollegiate athletics and given me the opportunity to foster our successes. This partnership has been critical to establishing a culture of excellence for our coaches and teams across the board, and I know President Jones is committed to ensuring the continued success of our athletic programs” McElroy said.
This year, UAlbany’s men’s and women’s basketball teams won their respective conference tournaments and competed in the NCAA basketball championships, where the women returned another dynamic squad and the men won their first ever tournament game. This spring the Great Danes have continued their winning ways with the men’s and women’s track teams, the men’s lacrosse team and the softball team each winning America East Conference titles and advancing to NCAA Championship tournaments.
“I cheer as much as any Great Danes fan when our teams do well on the field or in the competitive arena, but I could not be prouder than I am of the way our student-athletes excel in the classroom and go on to productive, fulfilling careers,” McElroy said. “We have our share of championship banners hanging in our arena, but I’m most gratified by the diplomas hanging in the homes of our alumni.”
Dr. McElroy’s willingness to step down from his position at this time allows for a leadership transition to take place over the summer, the least disruptive point in the calendar year for Athletics. An expedited national search for a new Director of Intercollegiate Athletics will begin as soon as possible.