Dan Coonan Announces Departure
THE SANTA CLARA
April 23, 2015
Dan Coonan stepped down from his post as director of Athletics and Recreation this past Friday, a position he has held for the past 11 years. Coonan will become the executive director of development for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Jeff Mitchell, associate athletic director, will assume the role of interim director of Athletics and Recreation while Santa Clara undertakes a national search for a long-term replacement.
Provost Dennis Jacobs said that Coonan carried a strong track record of athletics success and the development of well-rounded student-athletes throughout his time as director.
“Over the past 11 years, Dan Coonan has cared deeply about student-athletes and their welfare,” Jacobs said in an email. “Dan has encouraged every student-athlete to represent (Santa Clara) well, both on and off the playing field.”
Since Coonan became director, five different Bronco Division 1 programs have finished at least one season ranked in the nation’s Top 15. During the 2004-2005 and 2006-2007 school years, Santa Clara won the Commissioner’s Cup, an all-sports award presented at the end of each academic year to the top performing school in West Coast Conference play.
Student-athletes have excelled academically during his tenure. Under approximately 8 years under Coonan’s direction, the average term GPA of student athletes has exceeded 3.0. Additionally, Santa Clara consistently boasts one of the highest student-athlete graduation rates among West Coast universities.
Santa Clara has enlisted the assistance of a professional search firm to “build a very strong and diverse applicant pool” to fill Coonan’s position, and is considering both internal and external candidates.
“The successful applicant will foster a culture of excellence in athletics (and) help create the conditions under which Bronco teams can be consistently competitive in the WCC and at the national level,” Jacobs said.
Coonan, Mitchell, Assistant Athletic Director Michelle Schmitt Young and rugby coach Paul Keeler all declined to comment on his departure.
Contact Collin Baker at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (408) 554-4852.