Paul Schlickmann Named an NACDA Athletics Director of the Year

Paul Schlickmann Named an NACDA Athletics Director of the Year

Paul Schlickmann is in his sixth year as the leader of Fairfield Athletics.

Fairfield’s vice president for athletics is in his sixth year leading the Stags.

Fairfield University Vice President for Athletics Paul Schlickmann has been selected as one of 28 winners of the Cushman & Wakefield AD of the Year Award, as announced Monday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). Schlickmann is in his sixth year as the leader of Stags Athletics.

The ADOY Award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities. The 28 winners are comprised of four honorees from each of seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS, Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions and Junior College/Community Colleges). Schlickmann joins Renee Baumgartner of Santa Clara, Scott Leykam of Portland, and Bill Maher of Canisius as the Division I-AAA recipients.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected for this prestigious award in the company of such a distinguished group of colleagues. This is truly a University and department award, reflective of the incredible support and collaboration fostered by President Mark Nemec and our senior leadership team in the pursuit of modern excellence," said Schlickmann. "Above all, I am inspired by the relentless hard work and dedication of our coaches, staff, and exceptional student-athletes in their daily pursuit of our cultural commitments to 'Compete, Care, Lead, and Grow.' Their success is our reward. It is a distinct privilege to be a Stag! Thank you to NACDA and Wakefield & Cushman for this special recognition." 

Schlickmann was one of the driving forces behind the construction and opening of the Leo D. Mahoney Arena, which opened on Nov. 18, 2022, as the new on-campus home of the Fairfield Basketball and Volleyball programs. The $51 million venue, which was 100-percent donor funded, saw more than 45,000 tickets sold and a 335 percent increase in season ticket holders in its inaugural season of Stags basketball.

In addition to the opening of the Mahoney Arena, facility renovations and improvements under Schlickmann include the construction of the baseball and softball indoor hitting barn, refurbishment of the Rafferty Gymnasium and Academic Center inside the Walsh Athletic Center, a FieldTurf upgrade to Rafferty Stadium, multiple enhancements to the RecPlex Pool, and numerous locker room updates.

Another highlight of Schlickmann's tenure is the We Are Stags initiative, which established a vision statement, mission statement, culture commitments, motto, and promise for Fairfield Athletics. The four culture commitments – Stags Compete, Stags Care, Stags Lead, and Stags Grow – have become widely used cornerstones of the Fairfield Stags culture, prominently featured on social media, in locker rooms and shared spaces, and on student-athlete apparel.

Schlickmann was named Director of Athletics in September of 2017, succeeding long-time AD Gene Doris. Since taking the reins, Fairfield has ranked third among Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) institutions with 15 MAAC Championships, in addition to two Northeast Conference titles for the field hockey program. The Stags have also won the MAAC Commissioner's Cup for Women's Athletics three times under Schlickmann's leadership, and finished among the top three for the overall Commissioner's Cup in four of the last five academic years.

In the classroom, the Stags have consistently ranked among the top of the MAAC and the nation. In the recently completed fall 2022 semester, Fairfield student-athletes aggregated a 3.44 semester grade-point average, highlighted by 42 students with a 4.0 semester GPA, and a total of 276 on the University's Dean's List with a 3.5 GPA or higher. In addition, Fairfield held an Academic Progress Rate of 995 (of 1000) and a Graduation Success Rate of 94% in the latest NCAA report.

"The Cushman & Wakefield Athletics Director of the Year Award has grown to become a universally recognized and respected honor for leaders in college athletics over the last two decades," said Pat Manak, NACDA chief executive officer. "This year we are proud to honor many seasoned veterans, as well as a few new faces, who have faithfully guided their departments through the steady waves of change the industry has overcome in the last few years. This deserving group of athletics directors are a source of inspiration not only for their peers, but for young administrators everywhere who are climbing the ladder to follow in their footsteps."

Winners will be recognized in conjunction with the 58th Annual NACDA & Affiliates Convention in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, June 13.

Tags:  Top Stories,  Athletics


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