Reidy Named Under Armour Southeast Region Athletic Director of the Year

SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo University’s Francis X. Reidy has been selected as the 2011-12 Southeast Region Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year as was announced in the June 25 issue of Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal/Daily.  Reidy will be honored by his peers at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) 47th-Annual Convention during the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, June 27, held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

Currently serving as the Division II Athletic Directors Association’s (D2 ADA) 3rd Vice President, Reidy has led the Saint Leo University (SLU) Department of Athletics for over a decade and has seen significant changes and improvements in that time.

“I am thrilled that Fran Reidy is being recognized by his peers for his excellence and integrity as our athletic director,” Saint Leo President Dr. Arthur F. Kirk said of the honor.  “He fully embraces the values set forth by both Division II and by Saint Leo.”

Kirk will be in attendance when Reidy receives his award on Wednesday.

“I am very honored to receive this recognition, but it really is an acknowledgement of the great leadership and great staff we have at Saint Leo University,” Reidy said as he prepared for the NACDA Convention.  “I am proud to accept this on their behalf and look forward to another great year in 2012-2013.”

Inducted into the Saint Leo Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008, Reidy also oversaw the addition of nine of the school’s 17 intercollegiate sports.  During his tenure, the President’s Club was formed to recognize student-athletes’ academic achievement and graduation rates have increased. Student-athletes' GPA in 2008-09 were over 3.0 for the first time in department history and 12 of 16 teams were above 3.0.  Athletes are more involved in University leadership and service since he became director.

First setting foot on the then Saint Leo College campus in 1987, he became a full time member of the department in 1993. Along the way, he has served as Sports Information Director, Head Men’s Soccer Coach, Compliance Officer, Assistant Athletic Director, and Associate Athletic Director until reaching his current role as Director of Athletics in 1999.

That year, he inherited a Monarch athletic program that had four NCAA postseason appearances in 35 years and managed to breathe a new fire into the department.  He hand-picked the numerous coaches that eventually took the Lions to 30 postseason trips during in just 13 years.  His leadership successes have brought seven conference championship trophies and numerous All-America awards to the Bowman Center trophy case.

Most recently, Reidy piloted the amazing transformation of the Lions’ men’s basketball team, selecting a new coach in Lance Randall and helping to develop a department-wide strategic plan that took the team from the bottom-half of the Sunshine State Conference to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth, all in the first year.

President Kirk concluded, “The performance of our athletes on the field and in the classroom, as well as the teaching and sportsmanship of our coaches fill us with pride and are results of Fran's leadership and management. We have long known that Fran is the best DII Athletic Director in the nation.”

Through his leadership, he has overseen significant improvements to every athletic venue on Saint Leo’s expansive campus, including new stadium and arena lighting as well as the design and creation of a new fitness center and athletic training area.  He also oversaw the design and completion of the Saint Leo Tennis Center in 2006, marking the first new and modern athletic facility at Saint Leo in over 30 years.  Under his guise, and with an ever-growing department, the Lions newest improvement is a brand new, state-of-the-art softball stadium that the Lions called home for the first time during the 2011 season and the current renovation and construction of a new Saint Leo University Lacrosse/Soccer Stadium.

Besides handling day-to-day aspects of the department, and its 50 staff members, Reidy has also brought his own leadership skills to the local community and national scene by serving on the Tampa Bay Sports Commission while also serving on the NCAA Division II Championships Committee.  In addition, he has collaborated with others to create the Model Division II Strategic Communications Document as well as participating in the Division II/DII ADA Mentor Program while serving for the D2 ADA. The program is a year-long mentorship designed to put promising minority and women athletics administrators on track for careers as Division II athletics directors.

Reidy, a Massachusetts native, graduated from Fitchburg State College (MA) in 1982 with a double major of Special Education and Elementary Education. While in college, he lettered all four years in soccer, was team captain and an All-Conference selection. He earned his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Saint Leo in 2002.