About The Catholic University of America

Located in Washington, D.C., The Catholic University of America (CatholicU) is the national university of the Catholic Church in the United States, founded and sponsored by the bishops of the country with the approval of the Holy See. CatholicU is committed to being a comprehensive Catholic and American institution of higher learning, faithful to the teachings of Jesus Christ as handed on by the Church. Dedicated to advancing the dialogue between faith and reason, CatholicU seeks to discover and impart the truth through excellence in teaching and research, all in service to the Church, the nation, and the world.

Service and faith are at the heart of CatholicU’s mission. CatholicU is one of America’s oldest and strongest major research universities and the search for truth ranges across 12 schools and more than 100 disciplines. Founded in 1887 as a graduate institution, CatholicU offers undergraduate and graduate students a scholarly experience, where those about their education will find unique opportunities to conduct scholarly and scientific research in their fields of study, working closely with faculty. There are 2,929 Undergraduates along with 2,130 Graduate students with 91% of Undergraduates receiving some form of financial aid.

About CatholicU Athletics

The mission of the Division of Student Affairs is to promote and facilitate student learning and holistic development in the Catholic intellectual tradition. In partnership with the academic community and Campus Ministry, meaningful opportunities for intellectual and personal development are provided in a vibrant, faith-based, values-oriented campus setting.  Student centered programs and services are offered to support and challenge students throughout their educational experiences.

The Athletic Department supports the academic mission of the University by providing programs and services to enable students to engage in physical activities as an integral part of the overall educational experience. The Athletic Department is an integral part of the Division of Student Affairs and is committed to upholding the mission of the division and the University.

Sponsoring 25 sports at the NCAA, Division III Level, CatholicU is a member of the Landmark Conference, except rowing is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Rowing Conference (MARC). As a member of Division III, the University places the highest priority on the overall quality of the educational experience and the successful completion of the academic programs by student-athletes. The Athletic Department seeks to provide programs and leadership to enable CatholicU to be a premiere NCAA Division III institution in academic and athletic excellence.  Throughout the 2021-22 school year, all 25 varsity teams produced a cumulative GPA of 3.38. Each varsity program also earned its own two semester GPA of 3.0 or higher. Additionally, from a historical perspective, our student-athletes typically both perform better academically and persist at a higher rate than our non-student-athletes. Each year, targeted athletic recruitment efforts account for as much as 25- 35% of each first-year class; and as much as 40% of our first-year male students. Since 2017, Cardinal Athletics has been honored nationally three different times for its commitment to serving the community.

Originally known as the Red and Black after the colors they wore, CatholicU athletes became known as the Cardinals (often the Flying Cardinals, occasionally the Fighting Cardinals) in the mid-1920s.   Since the winter of 2013, the Cardinals have won 35 league championships and two Landmark Conference Presidents' trophies (2014-15 and 2020-21) signifying the strongest overall athletics program in the league. During those two years, the Cardinals also finished among the nation's top ten percent and top fifteen percent respectively of all 443 NCAA Division III schools in the Learfield Directors' Cup standings. This championship-level success has involved 14 Cardinal teams winning league titles (7 men's and 7 women's programs). In 2021-22 alone, ten varsity teams were represented in national championship competition (a new single year high). While almost every team has been highly successful over the years, a handful of programs have risen to the top of the competitive landscape throughout the region and nation. Catholic Women’s Lacrosse has won 13 of the last 14 conference titles; Men’s Swimming & Diving has garnered six straight league championships; Men’s Soccer and Men’s Lacrosse have each won the last two league titles; and Baseball advanced to the College World Series in May of 2022, for the first time in school history. Men’s Basketball won the NCAA Division III national championship in 2001. Whether on the fields and courts or in the pool, CatholicU student-athletes compete and excel at the highest level.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Vice President of Student Affairs, the Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics serves as a member of the Vice President for Student Affairs leadership team and represents the department in a variety of public relations forums and University events. The Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics establishes relationships with faculty, academic leadership, enrollment services, student affairs professionals, and other integral staff throughout the campus community.

In support of all aspects of the mission of the University, division, and department, the Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics provides dynamic leadership in implementing, coordinating, and supporting a comprehensive athletic program, sponsoring 25 varsity sports that reflect institutional thinking, foster student retention, and promote the holistic development of students and lead the department’s fundraising efforts. The Associate Vice President & Director of Athletics ensures that programs and services are implemented with attention to high standards, quality, collaboration, and fiscal soundness. 

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Serve as a member of the senior staff in the Division of Student Affairs, while actively contributing to the development of programs and services that promote the holistic development of students.
  • Direct all facets of intercollegiate athletics program sponsoring 25 varsity sports, including personnel, budgeting, and student services.
  • Identify and cultivate sources of external revenue for the department in collaboration with University Advancement to promote more fund raising and select more members for the Board of Visitors.
  • Build a department that shares the University’s commitment to a culture of openness and inclusion that values diversity in people and ideas.
  • Serve as the outward-facing leader of the department and design and implement strategies, in concert with University Communications, to develop external relationships that will serve the academic, athletics, and financial interests of the campus.
  • Foster a culture within the Athletic Department that contributes to the retention, academic success, and graduation of student-athletes, while simultaneously promoting and supporting the faith and character development of students. 
  • Effectively foster and manage positive working relationships with faculty and the academic community, other Student Affairs offices, Enrollment Management, Finance, Development, Alumni Relations, University Communications, and Facilities.
  • Develop and allocate multiple budgets and sources of external revenue.
  • Manage and operate the DuFour Athletic Center in a fiscally responsible manner that maximizes the positive impact on advancing student health and wellness. Collaborating with other University departments in support of student health and wellness.
  • Work collaboratively with the Admissions Office to facilitate the Athletic Department’s contribution to enrollment goals. 
  • Responsible for the recruitment, management, supervision, training, and evaluation of all athletic department personnel, including student employees and federal work-study staff.  Supervise the Athletics marketing, promotions, and communications.
  • Develop and implement a long-term strategic plan and vision for the Athletic Department. 
  • Ensure compliance with national, local, University, NCAA, Landmark, and other conference laws, regulations, standards, and codes.
  • Other job-related duties within the division as assigned.


  • Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.
  • 10 years of work experience in a senior administrative role within an intercollegiate athletic department or relevant experience.
  • Proven ability to affirm, live, and embrace the Catholic University of America’s mission while leading with the highest ethical and moral standards.
  • Experience in fundraising and revenue generation is strongly preferred.
  • An understanding of and a demonstrated commitment to the student-athlete recruitment process and the ability to collaborate with Admissions staff in the enrollment of student-athletes to an academically rigorous institution.
  • Commitment to excellence in academics and athletics.
  • Proven ability to mentor coaches and staff.
  • Demonstrated leadership and management experience with comparable size program and infrastructure.
  • Knowledge of NCAA rules and regulations.
  • Ability to manage and promote broad-based programming, including intercollegiate athletics, and wellness programs.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills with both internal and external constituencies.

Application Process:

The Catholic University of America invites letters of nomination, applications, or expressions of interest to be submitted to the search firm assisting the University. Confidential review of materials will begin immediately and continue until the appointment is made. For full consideration, application materials should be submitted at Parker Executive Search’s website by February 28, 2023. For additional information please contact:

Daniel Parker, Vice President and Managing Director
Grant Higgison, Principal
Tori Williams, Executive Recruiting Coordinator
Parker Executive Search
danielparker@parkersearch.com | ghiggison@parkersearch.com | twilliams@parkersearch.com 
770-804-1996 ext. 116 | 770-804-1996 ext. 118

The Catholic University of America is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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