Meiser-McKnett Named Regional AD of the Year
Meiser-McKnett, the University of Hartford’s director of athletics and special assistant to the president, also was named as the new president of the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association.
"It's always nice to be recognized by your peers," said Meiser-McKnett. "This award is more a reflection of the wonderful people I have had the honor to work with and for, than it is about my personal accomplishments. I am grateful to receive this honor."
The GeneralSports TURF Systems AD of the Year Awards (ADOY) program, now in its eighth year, recognizes athletics directors who have shown administrative excellence within the campus and/or college community for the current academic year. The award encompasses seven divisions - NCAA Divisions I-A, I-AA, I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior/Community Colleges. This year there are 29 winners, four per division in the U.S. regions and one cross-divisional international winner. Athletics directors may win the award only once in three years.
"Pat Meiser-McKnett has been devoted to our student-athletes for the past 14 years," said University of Hartford President Walter Harrison. "She has brought great leadership to the University's athletics department, raising money, building facilities, attracting highly qualified coaches, and supervising a great staff. Most of all, however, she has been unfailingly dedicated to improving student-athlete welfare, and for that all of us are grateful."
Meiser-McKnett is one of only 33 female directors of athletics among the more than 300 institutions competing at the Division I level. She has 34 years of experience in athletics administration. In May of 1999, she was named one of the nation's top 50 women's sports executives by Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal.
During her 14 years at the University of Hartford, seven sports (women's basketball, men's soccer, women's soccer, men's golf, women's golf, men's tennis and women's volleyball) have won America East Conference championships and either reached NCAA Division I tournaments or national postseason play. Women's basketball, in particular, has emerged with Meiser-McKnett's hiring of Jennifer Rizzotti as head coach. The Hawks have won three conference championships since the hiring of Rizzotti and most recently defeated nationally ranked Temple University in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the program's first victory in national postseason play.
Most significantly, Hartford athletics embarked on a $10 million athletics capital campaign in April of 2003. Through the Home Field Advantage campaign, the University has renovated its soccer and lacrosse field, built a new softball field and baseball field, and is currently constructing a track surrounding an all-purpose field.