Daemen College Director of Athletics Bridget Niland has announced a restructuring of the athletics department’s leadership staff to better serve the needs of the Wildcats’ 17 NCAA Division II sports and more than 230 student-athletes. The changes also reflect a structure that will support Daemen’s Center for Allied and Unified Sport and Exercise (CAUSE), which recently received a $50,000 grant to expand its offerings.
“As we look to the future of Daemen Athletics and our emphasis on the well-being of student-athletes, expanded enrollment, external revenue growth, and Daemen’s CAUSE initiative, we felt the need to make some adjustments to our current structure,” said Niland.
Daemen is appointing its three current associate athletics directors, Mike Miranto, Brandi Guerinot, and Mike MacDonald, to senior associate athletics directors. Changes to the staffing structure take effect Nov. 1.
A member of the Daemen Athletics staff since 2010, Miranto will now serve as senior associate athletics director for external operations and communications. In this role, he will continue to oversee sports information and media relations efforts for Daemen’s intercollegiate athletic teams as well as the department’s youth sport and community engagement initiatives. He will also take on a greater role in the oversight of game and event operations, and apparel and equipment management, and serve as the department’s liaison with the offices of communications and marketing, and publications.
Guerinot, who joined Daemen Athletics in spring 2016, is being promoted to senior associate athletics director for internal operations. She will continue to oversee Daemen’s adherence to NCAA and East Coast Conference rules and regulations, as well as the department’s academic and life skills programming for student-athletes. She will add administrative oversight of the department’s operating budget, while serving as the direct liaison between Daemen Athletics and the offices of Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Business Affairs, and Human Resources.
MacDonald is in his fourth year with Daemen Athletics and he will hold the title of senior associate athletics director for external relations in addition to continuing his responsibilities as Daemen’s head men’s basketball coach. A veteran of intercollegiate athletics with nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, MacDonald will be responsible for the strategic direction, coordination, and active participation in revenue generation and external functions of the department.
In addition, to their new responsibilities, Miranto, Guerinot, and MacDonald will take a larger role in the day-to-day operations and decision-making with the assistance of Jeff Sage, director of sports medicine, Stephanie Albano, senior woman administrator, and Jenepher Banker, assistant athletics director for athletics operations.
Niland also announced that she will be stepping down from her position as director of athletics in January 2018. In addition to continuing her teaching responsibilities as a member of Daemen’s business administration faculty, she will be joining the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo as director, youth sports initiative, where she will lead a collective impact initiative, funded by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. This initiative will share and apply the framework from the State of Play report to local communities across Western New York, in partnership with the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, the Aspen Institute, and the WNY Youth Sports Advisory Council.
“It is difficult to leave Daemen Athletics, especially the 230 student-athletes that we go to work with each day, but as the recent restructuring confirms, we have numerous talented staff members who can continue to implement our strategic initiatives,” said Niland. “I’m excited to cheer on the Wildcats’ progress under the next phase of leadership.”
A member of the Daemen faculty since 2006, Niland took on the role director of athletics in July 2014. Since taking the reins, she has guided Daemen through the final stages of its NCAA Division II membership initiative and has overseen the continued growth of the department in the areas of revenue generation and sport sponsorship. On her watch, Daemen Athletics has increased its external funding by over 500 percent, while also supporting the college’s enrollment initiatives by adding sports such as women’s bowling, women’s triathlon, and men’s volleyball.
Niland indicated that Daemen President Gary A. Olson will announce further details at a later date on the transition plan for the director of athletics position.