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GCU’s Laura Liesman Named 2019-2020 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year

Laura Liesman Under Armour AD of the Year

Georgian Court University Assistant Vice President/Director of Athletics Laura Liesman was selected as one of 28 recipients of the 2019-2020 Under Armour Athletic Directors of the Year early this month. The award is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

The 28 winners span seven divisions (NCAA FBS, FCS; Division I-AAA, II, III, NAIA/Other Four-Year Institutions, and Junior College/Community Colleges). Winners will be recognized on Tuesday, June 9, during the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics’ (NACDA) 55th Annual Convention at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas.

Ms. Liesman was one of four National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II administrators to be honored with the prestigious award. She is joined by Pittsburg State University’s Jim Johnson, the University of North Georgia’s Lindsay Reeves, and Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Tim McMurray as honorees.

Serving Georgian Court University since 2003,  Ms. Liesman continues to lead the Lions to new heights. Under her leadership, GCU seamlessly made the transition from NAIA to NCAA Division II. In 2013, Georgian Court welcomed the addition of men’s athletics when the university transitioned to a fully coeducational institution. Ms. Liesman has developed Georgian Court into a highly competitive program, expanding its intercollegiate sports offerings from six to 14 with the addition of men’s & women’s track & field, men’s & women’s lacrosse, men’s cross country, men’s soccer, and men’s basketball to bring the number of student-athletes at the university from 45 to more than 300.

Under her guidance, GCU constructed a $26-million dollar state-of-the-art athletics complex in 2008. Since its debut, the facilities have hosted more than 40 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championships, including the inaugural CACC Spring Festival in 2019. During her tenure, the Lions have captured 36 conference titles. 

The Aurora, Illinois, native has served on numerous NCAA committees, including election as chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council in 2018. She began her recently-concluded four-year term with the NCAA Management Council in May 2016 as the CACC representative. She also served as chair of NCAA Division II softball in 2010, as well as the CACC vice president (2006-2008) and president (2012-2016).

Ms. Liesman, a two-time (2018, 2011) CACC Athletic Director of the Year selection, was the recipient of the Collegiate Athletic Administrators of New Jersey Garden State Award in 2017, recognizing “enduring contributions to the development of intercollegiate athletics in the state of New Jersey.”

Aerial view of GCU.

About Georgian Court University

Founded in 1908 and sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, Georgian Court University is Central and South Jersey’s only Catholic university. GCU is a comprehensive, coeducational university with a strong liberal arts core and a historic special concern for women. As a forward-thinking university that supports diversity and academic excellence, GCU is known for expanding possibility for more than 2,100 students of all faiths and backgrounds in 35+ undergraduate majors and 10+ graduate programs. The GCU Lions compete in 15 NCAA Division II sports in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC). In 2020, GCU was named a Best Value College by and a Best Bang for the Buck (Northeast) by Washington Monthly. High student retention and graduation rates also make GCU a Top Performer on Social Mobility on U.S. News & World Reports rankings. The main campus is located in Lakewood, New Jersey, on the picturesque former George Jay Gould estate, a National Historic Landmark. Georgian Court, which is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, also serves students at other locations, such as GCU at BrookdaleGCU at Rowan College of South Jersey–Cumberland Campus, and through multiple online certificate and degree programs.

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