Arcadia University President Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III has announced that Brian Granata is the new Director of Athletics and Recreation at Arcadia University. He will join Arcadia on June 18.
Granata is leaving his current post as the Assistant Director of Athletics at Stevens Institute of Technology, which he has held since 2005. During his tenure, Stevens has enjoyed a remarkable rise in its NCAA rankings, going from No. 59 (when Granata started as Assistant Director) to No. 13 in the country in the 2010-11 NACDA Learfield Sports Director’s Cup Division III final standings.
"Under our retiring Athletic Director, Shirley Liddle, Arcadia came to dominate the Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC), and she then moved us up into the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC)," says President Oxholm. "Under our next Athletic Director, we are intent on becoming a powerhouse in the MAC. We are confident Brian can bring us to that next level—while continuing to maintain our athletes' high team GPAs and ensuring that as many as possible benefit from the unique global academic experience for which Arcadia is internationally known and respected."
This past year, Arcadia's student-athletes achieved the highest team GPAs and best individual performances in the last two decades. For the spring 2012 semester, 154 Arcadia student-athletes—nearly 75 percent—earned a 3.2 grade-point average (GPA) or better, and 24 earned perfect 4.0 GPAs during the academic year.
"A sound mind in a strong body is the essence of Division III sports, and we are delighted that someone of Brian's demonstrated commitment to that ethic and proven success in division play will be coming to lead the AU Team," adds Oxholm.
"I am looking forward to joining the Arcadia team and becoming part of the proud tradition of both athletics and academic accomplishment that characterizes this university and its global leadership," says Granata. "During my time as the Assistant Director of Athletics at Stevens, I have had the pleasure of being part of a very well-rounded and successful program—one that has been recognized many times for its successes on the field, in the classroom, and in the local community. I do want to extend my gratitude to Athletics Director Russell Rogers and the rest of the Stevens community for their support and guidance over the last seven years."
Granata recently was elected to the National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators executive committee by his peers—a leadership post in which he will continue when he joins Arcadia. "One of the impressive things about Brian is his leadership—and Stevens’ success—in community service efforts and the academic achievement of student-athletes," says Mark Lapreziosa, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Co-Chair of the 13-member search committee that included students, faculty, administrators, alumni, as well as present and past Division III coaches.
"His students pursued both their athletic and academic excellence with passion, resulting in national recognition for community service," adds Annette Halpin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Arcadia and search committee Co-Chair.
Marc Gottfried ’12, a senior baseball player and leader of the Glenside Goonies spirit organization on campus, was one of the students on the committee. He notes, "Brian has a work ethic that fits a program making great strides in our increasingly competitive conference. He expects a lot of himself and has a winning mentality that I know will excite our student-athletes. His presence and attitude will help us to continue to succeed both on and off the field."
"Brian's ability to juggle many responsibilities at the same time will be an example to us as athletes as we continue to balance increasing academic and athletic demands," adds Jessica Campbell ’14, a Psychology major who plays both basketball and softball and served on the search committee. "We are looking forward to his responsiveness to our needs and his energy. He will be able to relate to us as student-athletes."
At Stevens, Granata serves as the primary administrator for several varsity teams and offices, including women’s volleyball, equestrian, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s swimming, baseball, aquatics, and sports information. He implemented the Stevens Faculty Mentor Program and the award-winning Duckling Program, which educates children in local elementary schools about the benefits of college, engineering, business, science, teamwork, and sportsmanship. And he coordinated many successful department and team fund-raising events, including the 125-year celebration of lacrosse at Stevens.
"Brian comes to Arcadia with a tremendous background in athletics administration,” says Justin Scott, assistant men’s basketball coach and Athletic Academic Coordinator. “His commitment to the success and overall experience of the student-athlete is very evident by the work he has contributed to the Athletics Department at Stevens. His knowledge of and involvement in community engagement, fundraising and marketing as well as his work as the Champs/Life Skills Coordinator and Sports Information Director will play a vital part in enhancing the student-athlete experience at Arcadia." Scott was one of four current and former Arcadia coaches serving on the Committee.
Granata earned a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, majoring in Media Studies with minors in Public Relations and English, from Mount Saint Mary College.
About Arcadia Athletics: The Knights compete in the NCAA Division III and the Middle Atlantic Conferences (MAC), with 15 intercollegiate teams plus a full equestrian team (both Hunt Seat and Western) in the International Horse Show Association. Arcadia is committed to the Division III philosophy of ensuring that athletics programs are an integral part of students’ educational experiences. On average, 60 student-athletes attain Dean’s List each semester, and Arcadia has one of the very few full-time strength and conditioning coaches in the division.