June 25, 2012
DALLAS - Stony Brook University Director of Athletics Jim Fiore has been named the 2011-12 Under Armour Northeast Region Athletics Director of the Year, the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) announced Monday. Fiore will be honored during NACDA's 47th Annual Convention Wednesday at the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.
Wrapping up his ninth year as Director of Athletics; three of them under current University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D., Fiore has worked tirelessly to lead Stony Brook University on an aggressive course for success in all aspects of intercollegiate athletics. He has been widely praised for his unparalleled success, directing an athletics department that is widely considered a model for rising athletic departments across the country. Since arriving to Stony Brook in July 2003, Fiore has undertaken a major restructuring of the intercollegiate athletics program, including the hiring of new coaching and administrative staff, implementing dramatic facility upgrades and celebrating unprecedented revenue generation. For the near future, Fiore is focused on building Stony Brook University Athletics into the premier athletic program in the Northeast Region among all public research universities.
"Jim Fiore has energized Stony Brook University's Intercollegiate Athletics program beyond any expectation, and he is extremely deserving of this award," said President Stanley. "He has taken a fledgling program and built it by making strong administrative and hiring decisions, by engaging alumni as donors and fans, and by embracing the community to make the Stony Brook Seawolves the team to watch - in every major athletic competition. We are fortunate to have him, and look forward to great things to come."
Under Fiore's leadership in 2011-12, Stony Brook enjoyed its most successful year ever as an athletic program, capturing nine conference championships, sending six of its programs to a national postseason tournament and celebrating the program's first-ever individual national champion. The football team won the Big South Conference title for the third straight season and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship. The women's cross country team completed a half-decade of dominance after capturing its fifth consecutive America East Championship. The men's soccer team won its second America East crown in three seasons and advanced to the NCAA College Cup. The men's basketball team ran through the America East en route to a regular season championship and its second NIT appearance in three seasons. The women's tennis team secured its first-ever America East Championship and NCAA Tournament berth. The men's lacrosse team captured its third straight America East regular season crown and then won the tournament title for second time in three seasons to advance to the NCAA Tournament. Women's track & field star Lucy Van Dalen wrapped up her Seawolves career by winning the program's first-ever individual national championship, taking the mile at the 2012 NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championship.
The crowning athletic achievement under Fiore in 2011-12 was the baseball's team's run to the College World Series. After winning the America East Championship for the second time in three seasons, the Seawolves won the NCAA Coral Gables Regional by knocking off perennial powers Miami and Central Florida and then defeated six-time national champion LSU in a best two-out-of-three on its home field in the NCAA Super Regional to advance to its first-ever College World Series. Buoyed by five national television appearances on the ESPN Family of Networks, headlines and stories in numerous national media outlets and a stirring buzz across social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, the baseball team shocked the world and captured the hearts of people all across the country with their run to Omaha. The Seawolves garnered numerous postseason honors, including first-team All-American Travis Jankowski, who became Stony Brook's first-ever first-round Major League draft pick to headline a school-record seven Seawolves draftees.
Fiore has also laid the groundwork for future success at Stony Brook through major facility improvements. He helped secure the $21.1 million Stony Brook Arena renovation project that will commence this summer and be completed by Fall 2014. The arena, which will seat just over 4,000 fans, will become Long Island's new premier athletic and entertainment destination and serve as the home to Stony Brook men's & women's basketball. Earlier this month, he opened the new 8,000 square foot Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center, which will be the new home to Seawolves strength & conditioning and was privately funded by alumnus Glenn Dubin '78 '12, whose $4.3 million gift was the largest ever given to a SUNY athletics program. Later this summer, University Pool will undergo a $10 million renovation as well. In recent years, Fiore also opened Joe Nathan Field (baseball), University Track, the Goldstein Family Student-Athlete Development Center and Pritchard Gymnasium (men's & women's basketball and volleyball).
All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments. Additionally, each AD's institution must have passed a compliance check through its appropriate governing body (i.e., NCAA, NAIA, etc.), in which the institution could not have been on probation or cited for a lack of institutional control within the last five years during the tenure of the current athletics director.
Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. Special Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, present and past NCAA and NAIA presidents, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award.