With the sudden chaos developing in Stony Brook Athletics, the department has turned to Donna Woodruff to serve as the Interim Director of Athletics following Jim Fiore’s firing. If you have ever been to a sporting event on campus, you know who Fiore is: the fiery, intense guy you picture representing the department. But who is Donna Woodruff, and what will she bring to Stony Brook Athletics?
Before the firing, Woodruff served as the Executive Associate Director of Athletics, a spot she has held since July 2010, and as the Chief of Staff for the athletic department. Woodruff oversees Student-Athlete Development, Compliance and Facility and Events Operations at Stony Brook. She also supervises men and women’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s lacrosse.
Woodruff has been with Stony Brook since 2004, when she was hired as the Associate Director of Athletics for Administration & Student-Athlete Development/Senior Woman Administrator. She was later promoted to Senior Associate Director of Athletics/SWA in July 2005.
The Interim AD has also been named to multiple committees during her tenure at Stony Brook. She is involved at Stony Brook, as she is on the NCAA Certification Steering Committee, the Scholarship Coordinating Council, the Student Life Advisory Committee, the Undergraduate Recognition Committee and the President’s Five Year Plan Task Force on Multicampus Development.
Woodruff was also selected by her peers in the America East Conference.
As the Chair of the SWA Committee (2008-10), where she was a member of the America East Director’s Council. She was also invited to attend the Sports Management Institute in June 2010 and finished the program the following January.
Just recently, she was named to the NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Cabinet and will serve until July 2016. Woodruff also was a recipient of the 2011 National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators Administrator of the Year award. Since 2010-11, she has overseen the facility upgrades on campus, including the University Track, Joe Nathan Field, Dubin Family Athletic Performance Center and the new University Arena.
In 2011 and 2012, she was a committee member for the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championships. Woodruff also was on the America East Conference Championship and Competition Committee and was selected by President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. for the University Provost.
Before Stony Brook, Woodruff was an athletic administrator at Villanova University and the University of Pennsylvania. At Villanova, she was the former Director of Administrative Services for Athletics and represented the 24 teams in residence life, dining services and financial aid issues. She also oversaw Villanova’s men’s ice hockey, men’s crew, men’s volleyball, men’s water polo and the athletic department equipment room. While on the compliance office staff, Woodruff was in charge of the NCAA Special Assistance Fund, the Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund and drug testing. Also at Villanova, she led the Athletic Department Internship Program, which had 18 full-time interns.
Also while at Villanova, Woodruff was part of the Villanova University Community Committee and led the Villanova Quality Initiative team.
Before Villanova, she spent four years as an athletic administrator at the University of Pennsylvania and as the scheduler for all 34 intercollegiate sports, creating and monitoring each sport’s contracts.
Woodruff started out as an assistant field hockey and lacrosse coach at Penn in August 1991. She was a coach for five years before adding athletic administrator to her title. From 1993 to 1996 she was a Regional Administrative Director for the U.S. Field Hockey Association, where she oversaw the USFHA Olympic Development Field Hockey Program in Pennsylvania. There she managed and organized 650 athletes, 80 coaches, 15 athletic trainers and 15 site directors in the largest of 11 regions throughout the nation. She also serves on the University of Pennsylvania Field Hockey Alumnae Board.
Woodruff is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and was an All-American field hockey player. She helped lead the school to the Final Four of the 1988 NCAA Championship and is the only player in school history to be named to the NCAA All-Tournament team. Field hockey was not her only sport, as she was an All-Ivy and Regional All-America pick in lacrosse. She received her Master of Science degree in education in 2000 at the University of Pennsylvania.
Woodruff was clearly the right choice to fill in for Fiore after the firing, but how long will she remain in that position? The university did mention in their press release that there is a national search for the new Athletic Director, but that could take a while.