. Division I ADOY Award Winners :: NACDA :: Official Athletic Site
» «
Division I ADOY Award Winners

June 6, 2007

Thomas O'Connor, George Mason University -- Southeast Region

Tom O'Connor was appointed director of athletics at George Mason in 1994 and added the title of assistant vice president in 1999. Under O'Connor's leadership, George Mason was one of the nation's first 15 institutions to complete the NCAA certification process and continues to rank perennially among the nation's best in the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act survey. Each campus athletics facility has received upgrades throughout the past decade and in 2005-06 the George Mason men's basketball team made their first-ever Final Four appearance. This NCAA championship run capped the best season in George Mason history and the best in the history of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Also, in 2005-06, the men's volleyball team made it to the semifinal round of the Eastern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Championship Tournament. Also under O'Connor's administration, the men's track and field team captured an indoor national championship. Twice under O'Connor, the Patriots have ranked first among Division I institutions in the Directors' Cup standings. O'Connor recently completed a two-year term as the president of the CAA and is the first representative from this association to serve on the Division I Men's Basketball Championship Committee. He has also been a member of the NCAA's Management Council, DI Strategic Planning Committee, Selection Review Committee, Business/Finance Cabinet and Men's Basketball Rules Committee. Previously, he was also a member of the Division I-AAA ADA Executive Committee. Before being hired at George Mason, O'Connor coached basketball at Dartmouth and Loyola College and also served as AD at Loyola, Santa Clara and St. Bonaventure.

Jim Schaus, Wichita State University -- Central Region

Jim Schaus is currently serving in his eighth year as director of athletics at Wichita State. When Schaus was hired, Shocker athletics facilities were in last place in the Missouri Valley Conference. Since then, Schaus has facilitated a $30 million renovation of Koch Arena, the re-development of Cessna Stadium, the expansion of the Wichita State baseball stadium and the construction of a new softball complex. All Wichita State sports that sell tickets were ranked nationally in attendance during the 2005-06 school year. Schaus has worked to elevate student-athlete grade-point averages through the implementation of mentoring and class check programs. Schaus also developed the Shocker Total Person Program to assist student-athletes academically, athletically and socially in a variety of areas. Furthermore, he has initiated several community outreach programs such as Character Counts, an assembly program at area schools that give Wichita State student-athletes and coaches the opportunity to discuss key areas of character with young children; and the Shocks, Cops and Kids program, which works with the Wichita police department and Big Brother/Big Sister to address challenges for troubled area youth. During his tenure, Schaus has hired several successful coaches including the Shocker men's basketball coach who led his team to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2005-06 and Shocker women's volleyball coach who ended the same season with a top-25 national ranking. Schaus has served on the NCAA Committee on Academic Performance and currently serves on the NCAA Division I-AAA ADA Executive Committee. Before coming to Wichita State, Schaus worked as an athletics administrator at Purdue, West Virginia, Northern Illinois, Cincinnati and the University of Texas at El Paso.

Joel Thirer, Binghamton -- Northeast Region
Binghamton hired Joel Thirer as director of athletics in 1989, during which time he has overseen the transition of the Bearcat athletics program from Division III to Division I. In 2001, Thirer secured Binghamton's membership into the America East Conference and already, the University ranks second in the America East in total sports success according to the 2005-06 Commissioner's Cup. During Thirer's administration, he initiated the Binghamton University Athletics Club and the Athletics Hall of Fame, and oversaw the design, planning and construction of the school's new 5,200-seat Events Center. With Thirer at the helm, Binghamton has twice captured the America East Academic Cup and 56 of its coaches have earned conference, state, regional or national Coach of the Year honors. Moreover, Binghamton student-athletes have captured 45 conference team championships, seven NCAA individual championships, 89 All-America honors and 52 academic All-America honors. Thirer has a Ph.D. in sport psychology from Florida State University and prior to arriving at Binghamton, he was a professor, researcher and administrator at Southern Illinois University and Illinois State University. Thirer is a past chair of the America East Conference Athletic Directors' Council and a member of the Conference Strategic Planning Committee. At Binghamton, he also holds positions as a professor of Health & Physical Education, and as an adjunct professor in the Psychology Department.

Brian Quinn, Cal State Fullerton -- West Region
Brian Quinn assumed the post of director of athletics at Cal State Fullerton in 2002. Since then, Quinn has helped the department recover from a fiscal crisis, he has improved overall student-athlete academic performances and overseen the reconstruction of Titan Gym. Cal State Fullerton student-athletes currently mirror the student body in graduation rate and CSF was acknowledged for its "Outstanding Degree Completion Program" for 2005-06 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports. Also under Quinn's guidance, the Titan baseball team has been crowned national champions and finished in third place twice nationally. The Titan women's soccer team has advanced to the NCAA and under Quinn's leadership, Cal State Fullerton has outperformed the rest of the Big West Conference in the Directors' Cup standings. Quinn has chaired the West Coast Conference athletics directors association and the NCAA men's volleyball committee. He has served on the board of directors for USA volleyball and is currently chair for the west regional advisory committee for the NCAA baseball committee and is a member of both the Division I Baseball Issues Subcommittee and the Division I Baseball Umpires Subcommittee. Quinn has been inducted into athletics halls of fame at both his high school and college, Loyola Marymount, where he played basketball and baseball. Quinn was also a member of the Balboa Bay Club national championship volleyball team and continues to be an avid beach volleyball player. Quinn received his master's degree from Long Beach State and served as AD of his alma mater, Loyola Marymount, before taking over the Titan program.