Today: Jun 25, 2024

A sit down with head of the Athletic Department

Patricia Nicol has been head of the athletic department for eight years.

Aaron JohnsonGeneral Assignment Reporter

NEW HAVEN – For some athletic directors, the main focus is to win at all cost. For others, success is determined by the amount of money that the university brings in as a result of the program. But for Southern Connecticut State University athletic director Patricia Nicol, she said that for her success is determined by the transformation of any student-athlete from when they started until the day they graduate.

    “It’s about developing leaders of tomorrow through the athletic experience,” said Nicol. “I do what I do because what each individual takes from the athletic experience just develops them into the person that they will become.”

    Nicol is now in her ninth year as Director of Athletics and 14th overall as an athletic administrator at Southern. A 2010 nominee for the Division II Athletic Director of the Year award and a 2011 selection to the National Register’s “Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers,” she leads a department that is comprised of nearly 80 coaches, administrators and staff members, a task that she said is one of most difficult part of her job.

    “Part of the challenges in any leadership role is managing and leading the people that you work with. Trying to understand what makes them effective,” said Nicol.

    Although dealing with so many different coaching staffs at one time is a challenge, Nicol said she wants all the coaches and staff to understand one thing.

Patricia Nicol has been head of the athletic department for eight years.
Patricia Nicol has been head of the athletic department for eight years.

    “Having coaches see the big picture of where we want to go as a department. It’s a ‘we’ thing and coaches by nature are very focused on their individual programs,” said Nicol. “One of my challenges is getting them to understand the big picture. That this is something greater than just one program, that we are a part of a department.”
Since her appointment in 2005, the Owls have excelled on the playing fields, in the classroom and in the community. This success is something that Nicol said she is most proud of as an athletic director.

    “Academics will always be my number one priority,” said Nicol.

    Under Nicol’s leadership and plan for a better academic program, the grade point average of all the athletes at Southern has increased to an all-time high.

    “Six years ago the overall GPA for student-athletes was about a high 2.6,” said Nicol. “This past year, we finished in the top 20 percent of all Division-II institutions from an athletic standpoint, but what is the most rewarding for me is that for the first time ever in the history of Southern Connecticut Athletics, we did that with a collective GPA — of all 470 of our student-athletes — over a 3.0.”

   During her time as athletic director, Nicol has received several accolades for her outstanding performance. According to her bio on the athletic website, Nicol has been a 2010 nominee for the Division II Athletic Director of the Year award and a 2011 selection to the National Register’s “Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers.” Although flattered and humbled by the adoration and notoriety, Nicol said that she is not concerned about the credit.
“I’ve always been the type of person that recognition isn’t why I do something. I’m flattered,” said Nicol. “It’s not why I do it. It doesn’t drive me at all. I’ve never been one to be out right and center unless I have to — then I will. But I get my satisfaction from knowing that I’ve made a difference and that doesn’t have to be publicized.”

Latest from Blog

Don't Miss

Volleyball wins two straight

Luke Gadson – Sports Editor The Owls fought hard for a 3-1

Student leaders discuss campus involvement

Solé Scott- Features Editor The university strives for student leaders to get