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NCAA selects athletics administrators for Pathway Program

25 senior-level administrators will participate in NCAA’s 2017 sessions

Twenty-five senior-level athletics administrators, who have committed to becoming directors of athletics, have been selected to participate in the 2017 NCAA Pathway Program.

A committee that includes current athletics administrators and past program attendees, across all NCAA divisions, selected the participants for the yearlong experiential learning opportunity. 

For the senior-level athletics administrators who participate, the Pathway Program provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics director needs. Each program participant is mentored by a current NCAA athletics director and a current university chancellor or president who have committed to helping the Pathway participants grow during the program and after completing it.

The timeline of the yearlong program was altered for 2017 to maximize the participants’ exposure to senior leaders in college athletics. Programming starts in late June with a weeklong session at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, continues with quarterly meetings throughout the year, and culminates in June 2018 at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention in Washington, D.C.

These in-person sessions will include opportunities to engage with university and college presidents, who will shed light on the role of athletics directors, reinforce the value of athletics on campus and provide candid answers to participants’ questions. Along with NCAA governance meetings, program participants will participate in a simulation of their first staff meeting as a director of athletics, receive advice on beginning their first 90 days in an athletics director chair, participate in case studies on campus-relevant topics and learn best practices from current and former athletics directors.

“The Pathway Program is an unmatched opportunity, exposing highly qualified athletics administrators to the latest information and robust experiences, delivered by practiced experts in the field,” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer. “Administrators who complete the program not only gain technical knowledge but graduate with confidence and quality decision-making skills.”

NCAA leadership development, located in Indianapolis, coordinates and facilitates education and training for college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators. The staff annually hosts programs, at little or no cost to members, using expert curriculum designed to enhance the well-being and personal development of college athletes. The staff also provides ongoing education and topical training to athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs. For more information, visit

2017 NCAA Pathway Program participants

Brian Baptiste
Deputy director of athletics
Jennifer Bell
Associate athletics director, internal operations
Bryan Blair
Senior associate athletics director
Marcus Bowman
Senior associate athletics director, chief of staff
Shelley Davis
Deputy director of athletics
Dawn Ellerbe
Associate athletics director, marketing and branding
California State University, Northridge
Sherryta Freeman
Senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator
Nathan Fry
Senior associate athletics director
Emerald Fulmore
Associate athletics director, compliance
Bowie State
Andrew Gavin
Associate athletics director, advancement and external relations
Crystal Gibson
Head women’s basketball coach/senior woman administrator
St. Mary’s (Maryland)
Beth Goetz
Chief operating officer/senior woman administrator
Mike Harrity
Senior associate athletics director
Notre Dame
Monique Holland
Executive senior associate athletics director, administration
Kay Lennon
Associate athletics director
East Tennessee State
Mike Lipitz
Deputy athletics director, internal operations
North Carolina State
Chad Markuson
Deputy athletics director
Minnesota State University Moorhead
Angel Mason
Senior associate athletics director/senior woman administrator
Foti Mellis
Senior associate athletics director, intercollegiate services
Michelle Morgan
Associate athletics director/senior woman administrator
St. Thomas (Minnesota)
Jamie Mullin
Senior associate athletics director, administration
Darnell Smith
Assistant athletics director, compliance
Central Oklahoma
Lydia Travis
Assistant athletics director, student-athlete performance/senior woman administrator
Queens (New York)
Kelly Webb
Associate athletics director/senior woman administrator
George Mason
Kelly Williams
Senior associate director of athletics, external affairs
The College of New Jersey