Erin McDermott named Athletic Director at UChicago

Erin McDermott, Deputy Director for Athletics at Princeton University, has been appointed Athletic Director after a national search. Her appointment is effective July 22.

Reporting to Karen Warren Coleman, Vice President for Campus Life and Student Services, McDermott will provide strategic leadership for athletics, fitness, and recreational sports programs for the University of Chicago community. She will oversee the Department of Physical Education and Athletics, which sponsors 19 intercollegiate sports, more than 40 club sports and an intramural sports program with thousands of student participants annually.

“We are strongly committed to ensure that all of our athletic, fitness and recreational programs fully address the diverse needs of all students, as well as faculty and staff,” said Coleman. “Erin is an accomplished and insightful athletics leader. She will be a wonderful partner and advocate for students as athletic director.”

At Princeton, McDermott oversees internal operations for 38 intercollegiate sports and manages personnel, scheduling, facilities, event operations, strength and conditioning, and aquatics. She advises and manages coaches on day-to-day operations and is the primary liaison with the Admissions Office and Athletic Medicine. In her 13 years at Princeton, she has helped to strengthen academic integration for student-athletes, admissions processes, campus wellness programs and student life broadly.

“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to be the Athletic Director at the University of Chicago,” said McDermott. “UChicago is a preeminent institution of learning, and like Princeton, athletics is aligned with that mission of education and excellence. I am excited to begin working with the athletics staff and the entire University of Chicago community to provide our student-athletes, and all students, with the best possible experience we can.”

Prior to Princeton, McDermott worked as Assistant Director of Compliance and Special Projects at Columbia University. Her experience as an intercollegiate basketball player, and multi-sport high school athlete, inspired her to pursue college athletic administration as a profession.

“Erin is an enthusiastic leader and proven administrator who brings a wealth of academic experience to the athletic director position,” said Amy Reifert, head women’s soccer coach at UChicago since 1991. “We are excited about her ability to lead our program, to serve as an advocate for athletes and athletics, and to promote the quality of the student-athlete experience at an elite institution like the University of Chicago.”

McDermott earned her bachelor’s degree in International Business from Hofstra University, and her master’s degree in Sports Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

With her appointment, McDermott becomes the second female athletic director at the University of Chicago. Mary Jean Mulvaney came to UChicago in 1966 as chairman of the Department of Physical Education Women’s Division. In 1976, she became chairman of a consolidated men’s and women’s athletic department, thus becoming one of the nation’s first female athletic directors of a coeducational department.