DANBURY, Conn. – Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Commissioner Dr. Kevin T. McGinniss has announced Columbia Athletics Director Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, Adelphi University Senior Associate Athletics Director Kate Whalen, and William Smith College Athletics Director Deb Steward as the 2013-14 ECAC Female Administrators of the Year. All three will be honored at the 2014 ECAC Honors Dinner at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in North Falmouth, Mass.
The ECAC Female Administrators of the Year are presented annually to administrators from ECAC member schools in recognition of outstanding or meritorious service to the conference.
Murphy just completed her eighth year at the helm of Columbia Athletics. Columbia, the 2014 ECAC Institution of the Year, had four spring teams appear in NCAA Championships this past year, including the baseball team’s second Ivy League title in three years. Since the 2004-05 season, Murphy has overseen Ivy League Championships in 12 different sports.
In addition to the athletic success over her career, Murphy helped create the Columbia Athletics Hall of Fame, which began in 2006. In 2011, she was named to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee and has also developed an elite leadership-training program aimed for college women’s basketball coaches. Prior to Columbia, Murphy was the Director of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Denver, where she led the Pioneers’ program from NCAA Division II to one of the top Division I athletics programs.
"I am thrilled to be honored by the ECAC as the Division I Female Administrator of the Year - and even more excited to see that our entire athletics program has received accolades for its incredible performance over the past year,” said Murphy.
Whalen will be entering her fifth full year as the Associate Athletics Director and Compliance Coordinator at Adelphi University this fall. Whalen came back to Adelphi, her home for 13 years from 1993-2006, after serving as both an Associate Commissioner of the East Coast Conference and an Assistant Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator in charge of Compliance at Pace University. This past year, Adelphi was selected as the ECAC Division II Institution of the Year. The Panthers competed in four ECAC Championships, two more than any other Division II institution, and also claimed 23 slots on Academic All-Conference Teams.
During her first stint at Adelphi, Whalen served as the head softball coach and also the Assistant Athletic Director/ Senior Woman Administrator. In addition to leading the Panther softball teams to 330 victories and three NCAA Division II regionals, Whalen also ensured the University was compliant with regards to issues of Title XI and student-athlete well being. In 2002, she was an integral part in the formation of the ECC Senior Female-Athletes Brunch in honor of National Girls and Women in Sports Day.
"I am honored and humbled to be selected as a recipient of the ECAC Division II Female Administrator of the Year award,” said Whalen. “I am grateful to the ECAC staff and Board of Directors for choosing me to be part of the group of esteemed women who have previously received this honor. I would also like to thank the numerous individuals within the ECAC who have helped and guided me along the way."
Steward will be beginning her tenth year as the head of William Smith College Athletics this fall. During the 2013-14 year, Heron student-athletes accumulated a total of 99 all-academic/scholar-athlete awards. The collective grade point average (GPA) of all Williams Smith student athletes was 3.3, with 94 Herons earning a 3.5 GPA or higher.
In addition to the academic success this year, William Smith also captured the 2013 NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer National Championship and earned NCAA bids in rowing and field hockey. Individually, 11 Heron student-athletes garnered All-America honors in 2013-14. Steward also served on the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championship Committee and led a successful bid to host the 2016 NCAA Division III National Championship.
During her tenure at William Smith, Steward has served as the tournament director for the 2006 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship and the 2007 NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship.
“I’m deeply honored to have been selected as a recipient of this award,” Steward said. “There are many hand prints on this award as I am so fortunate to work with a supportive administration, outstanding coaches and support staff, and amazing student-athletes.”
About the ECAC
In the 75 years since its inception, the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) has emerged as the nation's largest Conference. The ECAC has grown considerably from its charter membership of 58, currently boasting over 300 member schools in Divisions I, II and III, ranging in location from Maine to South Carolina, and westerly to Missouri. In the 2014-15 academic year, the ECAC will host nearly 100 championships in 37 men's and women's sports as the sponsors of over 5,800 varsity teams and 111,000 male and female athletes. For more information, visit www.ecacsports.com.