Mooney appointed athletic director

After completing a national search, Michael Mooney was named Geneseo's director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation. Prior to his promotion, Mooney acted as interim director since January 2011, following Marilyn Moore's retirement.

Mooney was selected as the leading candidate from a pool of 80 applicants and officially took over as athletic director in early July.

"I'm blessed that there was such good leadership prior to me, [and] that I'm not having to come in and resurrect something," Mooney said.

Since joining the Geneseo community in 1985, Mooney has held a variety of different positions at the college including residence director, head men's soccer coach, instructor, director of intramurals and recreation, sports and recreation facility manager, and assistant and associate director of intercollegiate athletics and recreations.

Mooney also served as president of the State University of New York Athletic Conference and the national chairperson of the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer All-America Committee. As Geneseo's men's soccer coach, Mooney led the team to the NCAA Division III men's soccer Final Four, a number four national ranking in 2004 and two SUNYAC championships. He has also been named SUNYAC Coach of the Year four times.

Mooney and his staff have already begun new projects meant to improve the quality of the athletics program as well as the athletic experience for the entire student body. This past summer, with the help of Facilities Services, the athletics department spent $35,000 to improve drainage on five fields used for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.

According to Mooney, students can also expect smaller aesthetic changes to Merritt Athletic Center and Schrader Hall, including photo banners in Schrader gymnasium and the swimming pool depicting Geneseo athletes.

"We don't have tons of money to be able to re-do a lot of things, but little things that kind of give students a feeling of … where they are and … for those [athletes] who are participating, [the feeling] that they're appreciated," Mooney said.

In the short term, aside from smaller changes, Mooney said that not much of the program will need to go through extensive changes.

"In the beginning, it's going to be smaller things that change because we're evaluating things, trying to look at things … see what are the things that we do well [and] what are the things that we can improve upon," Mooney said.

The school has hired consultants to evaluate the program and identify areas that could use improvement. Mooney is hoping that the results of these evaluations will help improve the quality of athletics at Geneseo.

"If things were broken then you might want to come in and do a lot of changes," he said. "Things haven't been broken, and we've been pretty successful, but does that mean that there's no room for improvement?"

As director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation, Mooney said he hopes to improve the athletics program by giving athletes, students in intramural sports and those who use the workout facilities a better experience.

"If we're not trying to be better in all those different facets," said Mooney, "then we're not in the right business."