The University of San Francisco has found its next athletic director.
The Dons have decided to promote Joan McDermott, the deputy athletic director and senior women’s administrator, to replace the departing Scott Sidwell, the Examiner has learned.
McDermott becomes one of 37 current female athletic director in Division I (excluding interim ADs) who handle a school’s entire athletic department (Christine Plonsky at Texas is the women’s athletic director, while Chris Del Conte handles the men). She would be the second female to take the reins of the San Francisco athletic department, after Debbie Gore-Mann, who preceded Sidwell.
McDermott earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology and physical education from San Francisco while playing varsity volleyball, before earning a master’s degree in educational administration from Stanford. She took the job as the Dons’ Executive Senior Associate AD for Internal Operations in the fall of 2016.
Before returning to her alma mater, McDermott served as the athletic director of Division II Cal State East Bay (from 2015 to 2016), and before that, spent 20 years at Metro State in Denver, with her final 17 there spent as the athletic director.
Before taking the helm at Metro State, McDermott coached the school’s volleyball team for three years, leading the team to the NCAA tournament the last two.
During her tenure as Metro State AD, the intercollegiate athletic program won 71 Rocky Mountain Conference Championships, and her teams made 114 NCAA postseason appearances in 14 sports (San Francisco has 16). With her as athletic director, Metro State claimed two NCAA National Championships each for the men’s basketball and women’s soccer teams, two NCAA Division II individual champions in men’s track, had 196 athletes named All-Americans and 16 named Academic All-Americans.
Throughout her career, McDermott has been involved in leadership and service to professional organizations and the NCAA, according to her bio on the University of San Francisco’s website. In the fall of 2014, she was named president of NACWAA (National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators). She also served on the Denver Sports Commission board of directors and the NCAA Division II softball committee.
In June of 2014, McDermott was named the Under Armour NCAA Division II Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA (National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics) for the second time in her career.
That same school year (2013-14), McDermott oversaw a complete facility upgrade for the Auraria Event Center, home to the Metro State basketball and volleyball teams. The center received a new floor, portable baskets and a Jumbotron that was donated from the Pepsi Center. Ground also broke on the $16 million Regency Athletic Complex at Metro State, the new home to Roadrunners tennis, soccer, softball and baseball.