Sean M. Sullivan became associate vice president and director of athletics at The Catholic University of America on Nov. 19.
Sullivan replaces Michael S. Allen, who became CUA’s vice president for student affairs in August.
Sullivan comes to Catholic University with more than 20 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics. Where he served as the director of athletics and recreation at Clark University in Worcester, Mass., he oversaw the Division III intercollegiate teams and the school’s intramurals and wellness programs.
“We are delighted to announce Sean Sullivan as the associate vice president and director of athletics at Catholic University,” says Allen. “Sean is a true leader in Division III athletics, having successfully guided several athletic programs to impressive levels of success. As a sitting athletic director for almost a decade, Sean has the knowledge and experience to lead CUA athletics to new levels of excellence. The search committee was impressed with his energy and commitment to promoting the holistic development of student-athletes, as well as his understanding of how athletics contributes to the broader mission of the university. We look forward to welcoming Sean to the CUA community.”
At Clark, he led the effort to increase competitive success without sacrificing academic achievement. During the 2012–2013 academic year, 46 percent of Clark student-athletes were recognized as scholar-athletes (a semester or cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher), a 12 percent improvement over 2009–2010. New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference and Pilgrim League All-Conference selections increased in quantity from 2010–2011 to 2011–2012 and again in 2012–2013. In addition, during the 2012–2013 school year, six Clark teams increased their win/loss percentage from the previous year.
Before arriving at Clark in 2011, Sullivan served as assistant dean of student affairs and athletic director at York College of Pennsylvania from 2004 to 2011. There, he led a department in which at least one varsity program won a conference championship each year between 2004 and 2010. The Spartans’ record of success during his tenure included a men’s basketball NCAA Final Four berth (2005), two men’s soccer teams reaching the NCAA Elite Eight (2006 and 2007), and women’s soccer (2007) and women’s basketball (2009) advancing to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen.
He also led the design, construction, opening, and operation of York’s Grumbacher Sport & Fitness Center, a 160,000 square-foot state-of-the-art indoor facility featuring a field house, multi-sport arena, administrative offices, fitness center, natatorium, multi-purpose rooms, athletic training center, academic classrooms, café, equipment area, and multiple locker rooms. The facility was the largest capital project in York’s history.
He also previously served as manager of intramural sports, camps, and clinics at Boston College (2002–2004); director of recreational sports at the University of California, San Francisco (2001–2002); interim director of athletics at the University of California, Santa Cruz (2000–2001); and head men’s soccer coach and physical education instructor at the University of California, Santa Cruz (1991–1996).
Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from the University of California-Santa Cruz, where he played soccer for four years and was named a regional All-American. He earned a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in sports and fitness management in 1996 and a graduate certificate in Leadership for Change from Boston College in 2004. In December of 2017, Sullivan earned a doctorate in higher education administration (Ed.D.) from Northeastern University.