Broncos Athletics

Coonan Named Santa Clara University's Director of Athletics

Coonan Named Santa Clara University's Director of Athletics

Aug. 27, 2004

  • Fr. Paul Locatelli Press Conference Comments
  • Coonan Press Conference Comments
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    SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara University President Paul Locatelli, S.J., today announced the appointment of Dan Coonan, executive associate athletics director at the University of California, Berkeley, as Santa Clara University's director of athletics and recreation. Locatelli introduced Coonan at an 11 a.m. press conference in the Leavey Center on the Santa Clara campus, following a meeting with the athletic department coaches and staff. Dozens of SCU alumni, supporters, faculty, staff, and students were in attendance at the event as Locatelli called Coonan "a person of integrity who will use his vision and talent to take our athletics program to an even higher level of quality. He will bring a strong, positive, and competitive presence for our sports at the local, regional, and national levels." Coonan will report to Provost Denise Carmody. "I look forward to working with Dan. He has evidenced a strong commitment to Santa Clara and to the continuing development of an intercollegiate athletic and recreation program that is consistent with the values of the University," said Carmody. Locatelli announced that Coonan has signed a 6-year contract, effective no later than October 1, and will be a senior administrator at the 8,047-student Jesuit, Catholic institution. Details of Coonan's compensation package were not disclosed. "We spent a lot of time making sure the right candidate understood the culture and traditions of Santa Clara University," said Rick Giorgetti, president of the Bronco Bench Foundation. "Dan Coonan will immediately become a member of the Bronco family. I'm convinced that Dan has the capability to continue our tremendous tradition of athletic success," he said. "Santa Clara has a long commitment to athletic programs that contribute to the education of the whole person," said SCU president Paul Locatelli, S.J. "Our intercollegiate athletic program has always made and will, under Dan Coonan's leadership, continue to make important contributions to achieving the mission of the University."

    Coonan becomes the fifth director of athletics at Santa Clara since Pat Malley took over the reigns in 1965. Since that time, Tom O'Connor (1986-92), Carroll Williams (1992-2000) and Cheryl Levick (2000-2004) have served in that role on the Mission campus. Coonan will oversee all aspects of operating the department's 17 NCAA Division I intercollegiate sports as well as its recreation, intramural, and club sports programs. "We're looking forward to working with Dan and continuing our proud tradition of bringing SCU alumni together to support our athletic teams," said Kathy Kale, executive director of alumni association.

    "We spent a lot of time making sure the right candidate understood the culture and traditions of Santa Clara University."
    Rick Giorgetti, Bronco Bench Foundation President.

    While at Cal, Coonan, 41, oversaw all aspects of football and men' and women's basketball and volleyball. He also managed the department's strength and conditioning and sports medicine units as well as legal affairs and event management. He served as the department's primary contact with local, regional, and national television representatives for football and basketball broadcasts, conducted a successful search for football coach Jeff Tedford, and negotiated the institution's first multi-sport apparel and equipment contract with Nike. A 1984 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Coonan received his doctor of jurisprudence from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 1987. He served on the staff of the Loyola Law Review and served as a law clerk in his final year at Loyola. After passing the California Bar exam, Coonan worked as an associate attorney for Smith & Hilbig in Torrance for five years before becoming a partner at Makahara & Lane. In 1994, he served as the finance director for the United States congressional campaign of Corky Larson. He returned to his alma mater in August 1994 to serve as assistant compliance director for the Fighting Irish athletic department before moving to Central Connecticut State University to become assistant athletic director in January 1995. While at Central Connecticut, he oversaw the compliance program, served as acting director of athletics, and represented the institution at the annual Mid-Continent Conference Directors' Meetings. In 1995, Coonan returned to California to accept a position at the University of California, Berkeley as assistant athletic director responsible for legal affairs, compliance, and personnel. In addition to his primary responsibilities, he served as the athletic department's point person for its NCAA Certification process, oversaw activities related to the `100th Big Game' event recognizing the anniversary of the institution's rivalry with Stanford University, and managed a joint Cal-Stanford fund raiser which netted $2.4 million for the two institutions. While serving as a part-time faculty member in the University of San Francisco's sports and fitness management program, Coonan accepted a position as assistant commissioner for governance and enforcement at the Pacific-10 Conference in Walnut Creek, Calif. While at the Pac-10, he managed the league's NCAA and conference rules enforcement program and oversaw the NCAA and Conference governance and legislative process. He also organized the conference's gambling issues committee and conducted campus audits and education sessions on NCAA and league rules. Coonan is married to the former Donna Kreter and the couple has three small children, Claire, Tommy and Kevin. About Santa Clara University athletics
    A report compiled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 2003 found that SCU's student athlete graduation rate of 78 percent is the highest rate in the West Coast Conference and the second-highest among Division I institutions in the state of California. Santa Clara's student-athlete graduation rate is considerably higher than the NCAA Division I average of 60 percent for student-athletes and the 70 percent average for Division I private institutions. SCU's overall graduation rate is the second-highest among U.S. masters' universities across the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. Santa Clara University Department of Athletics and Recreation sponsors 17 intercollegiate athletics teams and competes as a Division I member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the West Coast Conference (WCC), the Pacific Coast Softball Conference and the Western Water Polo Association. The department enjoyed a successful 2003-2004 season. For the second-straight year the Broncos finished second in the WCC's annual all-sports competition and three teams advanced to NCAA postseason competition, highlighted by the men's soccer team's advancement to the national semifinals.

    About Santa Clara University Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located in California's Silicon Valley, offers its 8,047 students' rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, plus master's and law degrees. Distinguished nationally by the second-highest graduation rate among U.S. masters' universities across the country, California's oldest higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. More information is online at