Moran at home with Owls
Mike Neville – Sports Editor
Jay Moran has held many titles throughout his life, ranging from University of Connecticut football walk-on, coach, and soon after finding his place at Southern, athletic director.
As a hometown kid from West Haven, his current position as athletic director was not in the works at first.
“I was involved in recreation at UConn as an intramural basketball official. I then became in charge of all the sports and intramurals,” said Moran.
“I worked at home game management, my wife and me got married, and four dollars an hour and UConn tickets were not enough, so I had to go get a real job.”
After leaving UConn, Moran went onto fundraising for the American Heart Association, and would end up at his alum mater Notre Dame High as alumni director.
He would get his first taste of working with college athletics full time at Saint Joseph’s in West Hartford.
“I was asked to come up as the assistant athletic director for recreation and intramurals, I did home game management too,” said Moran.
With a year under his belt at St. Josephs, Moran was asked to do something entirely new and coach a sport in which he had little experience in, cross-country.
“In my second year they said they need a cross-country coach, asked what’s my experience. I said I jog, so I got into coaching for eight years in a sport I knew nothing about,” said Moran.
His kids would later become cross-country athletes also, and after his time as coach, Moran started his career as head athletic director.
“I went to Albertus Magnus as the athletic director for two years, Bridgeport for ten years and now I am in my seventh year at Southern Connecticut State,” said Moran.
An individual who has worked with Moran for years is associate director of athletic communications Ken Sweeten, who considers Moran an amazing teacher.
“I tried to get out of business of sports information, I was home for six months trying to find a job and Jay gave me an opportunity, and what I learned from him he taught me how to deal with people,” said Sweeten.
He also said that the last two years spent with Moran has been the most beneficial to Sweeten as a person.
Moran’s people skills have been put to use, as he has gone above the ranks of being athletic director and became the Mayor of Manchester, Conn.
While running for Mayor in 2007, he switched to Republican and then back to Democrat, meeting individuals like Deputy Major Sarah Jones.
“I’ve known Jay for 15 years starting when his kids were in high school. I was director of student activities at the time,” said Jones.
Moran and she would then go onto run together and would become the pillars of the city of Manchester.
Jones described Moran’s personality as ‘Manchester’s biggest cheerleader’ and someone who goes above and beyond in the community.
“I don’t think there’s a mayor in the state that uses a sense of humor as well as I do, it’s all about people to me, to be the biggest cheerleader with the athletic director and mayor,” said Moran.
Student athletes have also gone above and beyond under the watchful eyes of the athletic director excelling in the classroom, something Moran said is all thanks to the athletes.
“The success of the college athlete has to do with them,” said Moran. “The most important thing for me is that they leave here better people then they came in, that they make a difference and hopefully they got a college degree.”
Moran described himself as the one orchestrating everything behind the scenes while the athletes are the main pieces that hold the puzzle together.
An unseen entity that keeps Moran going was the death of his daughter, who passed away from Hurler’s disease at six and a half
“She’s still my inspiration to this day. I support the community to give back to them for treating my daughter so well,” said Moran.
He has inspired so many during his time at Southern and in his political career like Sweeten and Jones and said that he wants to be remembered as someone who ‘made a difference.’
With seven years completed at the Owls helm of the athletic department, there is only one thing that Moran said he has learned from his peers.
He said that the wins and the losses don’t matter as much as the human level that everyone earns for.
“It doesn’t matter what you call me, it doesn’t matter if people like me or hate me, if you leave an impression on the heart it’s all the matters in the end,” said Moran.
Photo credit: http://www.southernctowls.com