McDermott accepts new position at USF


Photo Courtesy of Kelley Cox

Kali Persall,
Managing Editor

Just when it seemed like Cal State East Bay’s athletic department couldn’t experience any more turnover, it did.

Nearly a year and four months into her tenure as East Bay’s Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Joan McDermott has accepted a new position as the Senior Associate Athletic Director at the University of San Francisco, East Bay’s Division of Student Affairs reported on Tuesday. She will leave East Bay mid-September.

McDermott became the athletic director at East Bay on April 1, 2015. Under her leadership, she brought in the NCAA to East Bay to conduct an analysis of Athletics on campus, and coordinated a consultation to evaluate the branding of Athletics on campus and in the larger community, reports the Department of Student Affairs.

“I have greatly valued her leadership and dedication to our student athletes and our coaches,” stated East Bay Presi- dent Leroy Morishita. “She will be sorely missed.”

There has been a fair amount of turnover during McDermott’s short tenure: six head coaches have either left or stepped down, as previously reported by The Pioneer.

The most recent losses were East Bay’s men’s baseball Head Coach Bob Ralston and Associate Head Coach Darren Lewis, who stepped down on Aug. 11 at the close of the team’s best season since 2009.

Coaches from women’s basketball, track, cross country, softball, men’s soccer and swimming have all either stepped down or left East Bay to pursue other opportunities.

Dr. Don Sawyer will serve as the interim Director of Athletics while the university launches a national search to fill the position, according to the Department of Student Affairs.

Sawyer is a retired professor emeritus in Kinesiology at East Bay, and a Pioneer of 44 years, according to East Bay’s Pioneer Athletics website. Sawyer both played and coached football when the school offered it until 1993.

He was inducted into East Bay’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

A celebration for McDermott will take place tomorrow in the University’s Multi-Purpose Room B from 2-4 p.m.