Mike Harrity Tapped to Lead Big Green Athletics

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The new athletics director has held leadership roles at West Point and Notre Dame.

Mike Harrity
Mike Harrity will start as Dartmouth’s first Haldeman Family Director of Athletics and Recreation on July 18. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

Dartmouth has a new director of athletics, President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 announced today. Mike Harrity, the deputy athletics director and chief operating officer for the Army West Point Athletic Association, takes up leadership of Dartmouth’s athletics department on July 18.

Harrity, who is recognized in the athletics community for his book on coaches as leaders, will be the Haldeman Family Director of Athletics and Recreation and the first Dartmouth athletics director to hold this position, endowed by former Dartmouth Board of Trustees Chair Charles “Ed” Haldeman Jr. ’70 and his family.

“Mike is a visionary leader who brings more than two decades of hands-on experience to Dartmouth’s varsity, club, and recreational sports programs,” says President Hanlon. “He is a student of leadership with a deep commitment to the health and well-being of athletes and those who support them and to diversity, inclusion, and gender equity in athletics. I am delighted to welcome Mike to Dartmouth.”

As director of athletics and a member of the Dartmouth Senior Leadership Group reporting to the president, Harrity will oversee Dartmouth’s Division I varsity program of 35 teams and all club sports, physical education, recreation, fitness, and intramural programs. In addition, he will manage Dartmouth’s athletics staff and facilities and ensure the department’s compliance with all athletics rules and regulations.

“I am honored to be named the Haldeman Family Director. Coming to Dartmouth is the opportunity of a lifetime,” says Harrity. “I’m grateful for so many friends and mentors who have invested in my growth and sharpened my ability to serve the students, coaches, and staff I’ve worked alongside for more than two decades. I have great reverence for Dartmouth’s tradition of student-athlete excellence and look forward to building on the momentum Interim Director Peter Roby ’79 has created to carry on the important work of gender equity and elevating all we do in Dartmouth athletics.”

Among his many accomplishments during his two years at West Point, Harrity has had direct responsibility for several of the day-to-day functions of the 30-team, 1,100-cadet-athlete department—including as lead executive for the annual Army-Navy football game—and played a key role in strategizing a $95 million capital campaign to improve the academy’s historic Michie Stadium.

Before West Point, Harrity served eight years as senior associate athletics director and one year as associate athletics director for student-athlete development and community programming at the University of Notre Dame. There, among other accomplishments, he partnered with the university counseling center to create dedicated counseling and sport psychologists, helped establish a leadership academy for student-athletes, and partnered to create Notre Dame’s first student-athlete accessible study-abroad program.

Mike Harrity, his wife, Megan, and daughters Evelyn and Grace
Newly appointed Athletics Director Mike Harrity, his wife, Megan, and daughters Evelyn and Grace visited campus earlier this week. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

“Mike Harrity is one of the brightest young administrators in our business,” says Mike Buddie, director of athletics at the United States Military Academy at West Point. “His ability to build consensus, support the student-athlete experience, and work with coaches to create winning cultures will resonate well at Dartmouth. I am so happy for the Harrity family as they embark on this exciting new chapter in the Ivy League and know they will be great assets to the Dartmouth family.”

Author of a Book on Coaching

In 2012, Harrity published Coaching Wisdom: Champion Coaches and Their Players Share Successful Leadership Principles, based on interviews with 13 top coaches in the NHL and NFL as well as at the NCAA Division I level.

Muffet McGraw, who coached Notre Dame’s women’s basketball for 33 seasons and brought home two NCAA championships, says Harrity is a great choice to lead Dartmouth Athletics.

“Mike cares deeply about student-athlete welfare and will do everything he can to ensure they have a great experience. Coaching Wisdom, Mike’s book on leadership, is a handbook for coaches on how to lead,” says McGraw. “Mike has the tools to navigate through the current tumultuous landscape of college athletics on current issues such as the ‘name, image, and likeness’ debate in college sports. He will give his best effort every day and expect the best from those around him.”

Harrity’s parents—Oknan and John—met in South Korea while Harrity’s father was serving in the Army. The family settled in Kansas City, Kan., where Harrity grew up. A first-generation college student, Harrity earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in education with a focus on sports administration from the University of Kansas.

He began his career in athletics administration at his alma mater, rising through the ranks from coordinator of student-athlete development to associate athletics director for community relations and outreach.

‘In Good Hands With Mike Harrity’

“Mike is an outstanding leader who understands the importance of balancing academics, personal development, and competitive success in creating excellence in student athletes,” says Jack Brennan ’76, chairman of the Notre Dame Board of Trustees. “He prioritizes the well-being of students and appreciates that growth happens on and off the field of play. Dartmouth Athletics is in good hands with Mike Harrity.”

Notre Dame’s Jack Swarbrick, vice president and the James E. Rohr Director of Athletics, says “the future for Big Green student-athletes, coaches, and fans got much brighter today.”

“As the landscape of college athletics continues to evolve, Dartmouth could not have found a better person to lead it into the future than Mike Harrity,” Swarbrick says. “Mike is one of the best strategic thinkers I have worked with, and, even more importantly, he understands what it takes to achieve competitive success while also maximizing the experience of the student-athlete.”

Harrity takes over from Roby, who has led the department since February 2021. “I am deeply grateful for the leadership and dedication Peter Roby brought to the athletics department during a period of transition,” Hanlon says.

Roby knows Harrity from their work in the NCAA’s Pathway program for aspiring athletic directors and conference commissioners.

“I had the pleasure of working with Mike and I was impressed with him then and I’m even more impressed today. He possesses all the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to lead our athletics department and I’m excited for him to begin,” says Roby. “I’m extremely excited about Mike’s appointment as the new Haldeman Family Director of Athletics and Recreation.”

Notre Dame professor Tricia Bellia says Harrity will lead Dartmouth to “even higher levels of excellence in all the ways that matter.”

“Dartmouth is fortunate to have landed Mike to lead its athletics program into its next era of success,” says Bellia, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Law and the university’s faculty athletics representative. “He brings a rich understanding of what it takes to reach the highest levels of academic and athletic achievement, a deep commitment to the primacy of student-athlete well-being, and a proven track record of building relationships across campus and in the community.”

Associate Dean for the Social Sciences John Carey , who chaired the search committee that made recommendations to Hanlon, says the breadth and depth of Harrity’s record stood out from a competitive field.

“We were fortunate to attract a deep and talented pool of candidates,” says Carey. “Mike stood out for his substantial leadership skills, his demonstrated commitment to excellence in all aspects of the student-athlete experience, and an unwavering dedication to diversity, inclusivity, and gender equity.”

Harrity says his family is looking forward to moving to the Upper Valley and joining the Dartmouth community. His wife, Megan Harrity, PhD, is a counseling and sport psychologist. The Harritys are the parents of two school-age daughters, Evelyn and Grace.

In addition to Carey, members of the search committee were Jeffrey Blackburn ’91, trustee; Leslie Butler, associate professor of history; Porscha Dobson, the Marjorie and Herbert Chase ’30 Director of Dartmouth Track and Field and Cross Country; Dino Koff, director of financial aid; Sara Lockwood ’22, women’s club volleyball; Tracy Hagan Mallory ’92, chair of the Dartmouth Athletic Advisory Board; Anjali Pant ’24, women’s rugby; Taurus Samuels ’22, men’s basketball; Buddy Teevens ’79, the Robert L. Blackman Head Football Coach; and Doug Van Citters ’99, Thayer ’03, ’06, associate professor of engineering, athletics faculty advisor, and Dartmouth faculty athletics representative to the NCAA.

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