SMC's Matoso Named NACDA Athletic Director of the Year

Saint Mary's College Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Matoso has been named one of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) winners of the Cushman & Wakefield Athletic Director of the Year Award.
 
The award spans seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges). Winners will be recognized in conjunction with the 57th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas on Tuesday, June 28.

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The Athletic Director of the Year award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses and their surrounding communities. 
 
"I am truly humbled to receive the honor of being named one of the NACDA Athletic Directors of the Year. You are only as good as the people that surround you and for the past 24 months our staff and coaches have grinded through COVID to make our student-athletes' experience the best it could be," Matoso said. "I am very thankful for the opportunity to lead this department and the incredible young people that represent the Gaels in all of our programs."
 
Matoso is in his fifth year at Saint Mary's, and has elevated the success of not only the athletic department, but the entire campus during his time at Saint Mary's College. The camaraderie between campus and athletics began to grow immediately under Matoso's tenure.
 
During a pandemic year in 2021, Matoso brought in a record 2.3-million-dollars in annual fundraising. In all four years under Matoso, fundraising and revenue generation have hit record highs, including ticket sales, capital campaigns, and the revamped Galloping Gaels Fund. In 2020, Matoso secured the largest contribution to benefit student-athletes in the history of Saint Mary's Athletics, a $3 million gift from the Kalmanovitz Charitable Foundation. Matoso continued his fundraising efforts for facilities by securing a 1-million-dollar gift from Marilyn J. Bohl to finish the funding for the baseball stadium.

In 2020-21, Matoso led the Gaels to a school-record in APR scores. Saint Mary's had 11 teams reach a perfect APR score during the year. Overall academically, 167 student-athletes were named to the WCC Commissioner's Honor Roll, the highest number in Matoso's tenure.

Under Matoso, Saint Mary's has completed several major facility enhancements, including an 8-million-dollar remodel of University Credit Union Pavilion and the completion of a brand new 2.3-million-dollar strength and conditioning training center in the summer of 2020. Currently under construction is a 9-million-dollar addition and renovation of University Credit Union Pavilion and the 1.5-million-dollar Br. Ronald Gallagher Stadium for baseball.
 
All NACDA-member directors of athletics in the United States, Canada and Mexico who met the criteria were eligible for the award. Among the criteria were service as an AD for a minimum of five academic years; demonstration of commitment to higher education and student-athletes; continuous teamwork, loyalty and excellence; and the ability to inspire individuals or groups to high levels of accomplishments.
 
Nominators were NACDA-member directors of athletics, institutional presidents and conference commissioners, as well as other respected intercollegiate athletics administrators. Special Divisional Selection Committees composed of current and former directors of athletics, current and former commissioners and other key athletics administrators voted on nominees for the award. A complete listing of Selection Committee members can be found on NACDA's website at www.nacda.com.
 
About NACDA: Now in its 57th year, NACDA is the professional and educational Association for more than 22,000 college athletics administrators at more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. NACDA manages 17 professional associations and four foundations. In addition to virtual programming, NACDA hosts five major professional development events in-person annually. The NACDA & Affiliates Convention is the largest gathering of collegiate athletics administrators in the country. For more information, visit www.nacda.com.