2014 to 2015 – National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators

Just a couple months into her run as president, Joan McDermott navigated a career change from her long-time position as the athletic director at Metropolitan State to the same position at California State University, East Bay. Despite the transition, Joan continued to successfully build on the growth and momentum of NACWAA.

“The first time I went to a NACWAA National Convention was in 1997 when I was still a coach. I am so proud and excited about the way this organization has grown. It’s an honor to have been a part of it for all these years,” said Joan.

With a renewed focus on financial growth and sustainability, NACWAA received an NCAA Advancement of Ethnic Minority Women Coaches & Officials grant, reached record-breaking membership numbers, hit a Career Center revenue record, and was awarded a Newman’s Own grant for Empowerful Fundraising.

In the words of Joan: “It is critical to be financially sound as we continue to grow our membership and the National Convention experience.”

As NACWAA continued to evolve, the organization revised its mission statement to align with its focus and future:

“NACWAA is the premier leadership organization that develops, connects, and advances women working in college sports and beyond. NACWAA takes a proactive role in advancing women into positions of influence and powerfully shapes the landscape of women leaders.”

Other major accomplishments from NACWAA during this time:

  • Partnered with the world-renowned Center for Creative Leadership on Executive Level Leadership programs.
  • Played an active role in the new Dl governance restructuring process, gathering and submitting names of qualified women for the various committees.
  • Created a presidential advisory committee, which included mentoring for Executive Institute graduates
  • Awarded MOIC Champions of Diversity and Inclusion Award for work with the Women of Color Initiative

NACWAA continued to be committed to recognizing the achievements and successes of administrators working in athletics. Click here to view all NACWAA/ Women Leaders in College Sports award winners.

NACWAA Board Members 2014-15

Grace Calhoun, University of Pennsylvania
Lisa Campos, Northern Arizona University
Sandy Hatfield Clubb, Drake University
Missy Conboy, University of Notre Dame
Lynn Hickey, President-Elect, University of Texas, San Antonio
Amy Huchthausen, America East Conference
Janet Judge, Sports Law Associates LLC, Legal Counsel
Heather Lyke, Eastern Michigan University
Lori Mazza, University of Pittsburgh, Bradford
Erin McDermott, University of Chicago
Jacqie McWilliams, Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Julie Muller, North Atlantic Conference
Chris Plonsky, Past President, The University of Texas
Julie Ruppert, Northeast-10 Conference
Cathie Schweitzer, Springfield College
Meg Stevens, Averett University

NACWAA President 2014 - 2015

Joan McDermott
Metropolitan State University of Denver

Joan McDermott has served as the Director of Athletics for the University of San Francisco since March of 2019.  She previously served as the Deputy Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator at San Francisco since 2016.

Prior to her time USF, Joan served as the Director of Athletics at Cal State East Bay where she helped guide the Pioneers to its most successful season since its transition to NCAA Division II. She was the driving force behind a budget overhaul that saw the department’s budget balanced for the first time. Under her guidance, four teams advanced to the department’s first-ever NCAA Regional appearances, and the department raised its overall GPA to an all-time high of 3.031.

Before that, she served as the Director of Athletics at Metropolitan State University of Denver for 17 years.  During her tenure, Metro excelled not only on the field of competition but in the classroom as well. Metro’s academic success rate increased from 39% to 64% while being the lead fundraiser for a $4.5 million athletic complex while also securing a naming rights agreement with the facility – The Regency.

Joan was the former Vice-Chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council and Chair of the NCAA Division II Championship Committee. She was a two-time National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year and the Astro Turf Division II West Region Athletics Director of the Year in 2008.

Joan and her husband, Dan, have six children and reside in San Francisco.

World News

Sarah Thomas
Sarah Thomas

In 2015, Sarah Thomas became the first woman to officiate an NFL game and the first full-time female official in NFL history. Sarah was also the first woman to officiate a major college football game, the first to officiate a bowl game, and the first to officiate in a Big Ten stadium.

Additional news in 2015:

Viola Davis became the first African-American to win an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Viola Davis
Viola Davis