TigerBlog on Erin McDermott
Erin McDermott, Deputy Athletic Director at Princeton University and one of the most recognizable and respected members of the campus community, has announced that she is leaving her current position to become the Director of Athletics at the University of Chicago.
Using her mix of humor and an easy-going demeanor alongside an unwavering commitment to integrity and the highest ethical standards, McDermott leaves a mark at Princeton in almost every area of the athletic administration.
“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.”
McDermott has spent 13 years at Princeton, where she rose from an entry-level administrative position into the No. 2 person in the athletic department, as well as a campus-wide and national leader on many areas within athletics, student-athlete wellness, education and oversight. She often crosses over from working in athletics to take a direct role in campus-wide leadership.
“Erin McDermott is a very talented and experienced intercollegiate athletic leader who will have a very dramatic and positive influence on the student-athlete experience and the athletic performance at the University of Chicago,” says Princeton’s Ford Family Director of Athletics Gary Walters. “Chicago has made a very enlightened choice, and both the university and the athletic department will benefit from Erin's ability to conduct an intercollegiate athletic program that is consistent with the university's liberal arts educational mission. Princeton is proud of Erin and happy for her and congratulates the University of Chicago for performing excellent due diligence. They made a wise choice indeed.”
In her current role McDermott has direct responsibility for intercollegiate programming, scheduling, facilities, strength and conditioning and many other areas. She also serves as the department’s liaison to the admissions office, as well as on any number of Princeton committees and initiatives.
On a national level, she has worked on several NCAA committees, most notably the Division I field hockey committee, for which she served as chair for two seasons, and the Division I championships cabinet. She has also been very active with the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators.
“"We are ecstatic for Erin and the University of Chicago community," said Patti Phillips, NACWAA chief executive officer. "Erin is an exceptional and proven leader in athletics, and has made a significant impact nationally through her service to NACWAA, the NCAA and Ivy League. Her extraordinary dedication to student-athletes and commitment to academic excellence will take Chicago athletics to new heights.”
McDermott is a 1994 graduate of Hofstra University, where she played basketball and earned the school’s scholar-athlete award. She worked in the athletic administration at Columbia University before coming to Princeton.
The second female Director of Athletics at the University of Chicago, she will oversee a Division III athletic department that has 19 varsity sports, more than 40 club sports and an intramural program that attracts thousands of students.
McDermott, Princeton’s Senior Woman Administrator, is the seventh member of Princeton’s administration in Walters’ tenure to become an athletic director or conference commissioner.
“Of course, it is bittersweet to leave Princeton after 13 years. I would like to thank Gary Walters for his support and mentorship, as well as the many talented administrators, coaches, student-athletes and colleagues that I have worked with at Princeton and in the Ivy League. I am incredibly fortunate to have grown alongside them and have learned from every one of them.”
McDermott will take over at Chicago on July 22. A national search for her successor at Princeton will take place.