Brian Granata and Shirley Liddle (center) break ground at Easton Field.
Shortly after arriving on campus Monday morning for his first day on the job, Arcadia University’s new Director of Athletics & Recreation Brian Granata joined his predecessor, Shirley Liddle, and several coaches for groundbreaking at Easton Field. The facility, which overlooks much of campus, including Grey Towers Castle, is being upgraded with a new turf playing surface and will be ready for play this coming fall. The scene seemed to signify a changing of the guard—the start of a new era in Arcadia’s continued pursuit of excellence in academics and athletics.
Prior to joining the team at Arcadia, Granata served as Assistant Director of Athletics at Stevens Institute of Technology, a post he had held since 2005. Stevens 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. Granata’s vision and leadership are expected to help Arcadia realize its intention of becoming a powerhouse in the Middle Atlantic Conference. During his first week on campus, he has quickly begun deciphering the lay of the land.
“I’ve been having conversations with numerous administrators and staff, spending meeting time and lunches getting to know my staff and colleagues,” Granata reveals. “I even joined a campus tour given by Enrollment Management and briefly visited downtown Glenside. Everyone has been professional and very welcoming—exactly the things I’ve heard make Arcadia University a great place to be.”
Throughout the week Granata has taken time out of his whirlwind schedule to address the Arcadia community, recently recording a gracious video message in which he notes Arcadia’s rich traditions, proud alumni and promising future. “Arcadia is primed with potential,” says Granata. “There are great and exciting things going on here, and our best and brightest moments are ahead of us.”
Michelle Morgan, a junior on Arcadia’s women’s soccer team who works in the Kuch Center, met Granata and is impressed with his energy. “I’ve seen him going to and coming back from a lot of meetings, and it’s nearly 100 degrees out this week! He’s on the go, but he’s focused and relaxed—I think we as student-athletes will learn a lot about preparedness from him.”
During an athletics staff lunch provided by outgoing director Liddle in the Hall of Fame Room, Granata sat near trophies and plaques from Arcadia’s athletic glories. At the meal, the New York State native and Jets season ticket holder revealed that he is a fervent Philadelphia Flyers fan and was glad to see a few former Flyers hoist Lord Stanley’s Cup as members of the Los Angeles Kings this year—a detail that might win him some early fans among Arcadia’s Glenside Goonies, who want to see more hardware fill the space dedicated to Arcadia’s rich athletics history.
Easton Field upgrade, June 21.
Photography by Josh Blustein and Chris Macchi ’12 | Video by JoLynne Bremmer