Ponsetto Named Athletics Director of the Year in the Central Region
CHICAGO -- DePaul Athletics Director Jean Lenti Ponsetto has been recognized by her peers in the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) as one of four regional Under Armour ADs of the Year. In the midst of her seventh year as Director of Athletics, Ponsetto has taken the program to new heights and was selected as the Division I winner from the Central Region. The other 2008-09 NACDA Division I winners were Pat Meiser from the University of Hartford (Northeast), Mike Strickland from Belmont University (Southeast) and Gonzaga’s AD Mike Roth (West).
Ponsetto and the other winners will be recognized during the 44th Annual NACDA Convention at the James J. Corbett Luncheon on Sat., June 20 at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla. NACDA will honor winners in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A); Football Championship Subdivision (formerly Division I-AA); Division I (formerly Division I-AAA); Division II; Division III; NAIA; and Junior/Community Colleges, along with one International winner.
"Our Honors and Awards Committee recognized a need for an award such as the AD of the Year," said NACDA Executive Director Mike Cleary. "The program brings to light the exceptional jobs done by athletics directors across the country. These 29 winners exemplify that, providing us with a group of outstanding athletics directors who excel at their jobs."
One of the nation’s most widely respected leaders in intercollegiate athletics and a driving force behind the continuing expansion and development of DePaul’s athletics program, Ponsetto assumed her current role on July 1, 2002 and can't help but be proud of the athletic and academic accomplishments of DePaul’s student-athletes in 15 varsity sports during the 2008-09 academic year:
- A total of 301 student-athletes were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in the Fall and Winter Quarters (min. 3.0 GPA) while a total of 193 student-athletes were named to DePaul’s Dean’s List in the Fall and Winter Quarters (min. 3.5 GPA).
- 13 teams competed at the BIG EAST Championships while Softball claimed its second BIG EAST Regular Season Title. Men’s soccer posted a third place finish in the Red Division while the women’s basketball team placed fourth in the regular season standings and appeared in the program’s 14th NCAA Championship.
- Women’s basketball student-athletes Deirdre Naughton and Natasha Williams were named Regional Finalists and National Finalists for the State Farm Coaches’ All-America Team.
- Women’s basketball’s China Threatt was named the BIG EAST Conference Sixth Man a first for the program.
- Men’s Cross Country reached No. 14 in the Midwest Regional Rankings for the first time in the program’s history.
- Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams were named All-Academic Teams by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The women’s team was No. 11 in the rankings with a team GPA of 3.637 while the men’s squad was No. 13 with a 3.431 average.
- Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams earned Team Academic Honors from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA). DePaul is one of just 59 schools from across the country in all NCAA divisions with both the men’s and women’s teams on the NSCAA academic list.
- Steffen Vroom was named the NSCAA National Player of the Week and BIG EAST Player of the Week.
- Steffen Vroom, Willy Lara and Brian Visser were named to the Soccer America and CollegeSoccerNews.com National Team of the Week rosters.
- Softball coach Eugene Lenti was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) Hall of Fame and collected his 1,000th career coaching victory on Mar. 30 at Providence. He is just the 12th NCAA Division I coach to reach 1,000 career victories.
- Softball’s Amber Patton was one of 10 Finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award, was named an ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American, became the third DePaul softball player to be named a finalist for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS award and is the first to earn a roster spot on the National Team.
- Softball student-athletes Becca Heteniak and Amber Patton earned Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American status.
- Softball Coaches, Eugene Lenti, Liz Jagielski, Cat Osterman and Samantha Findlay were named the BIG EAST Coaching Staff of the Year
- Softball student-athlete Becca Heteniak collected her second consecutive BIG EAST Pitcher of the Year award.
- Men’s tennis reached No. 50 in the ITA rankings.
- Men’s tennis doubles pair of Austin Doerner and Ben Hartman reached No. 38 in the ITA rankings.
- Women’s tennis reached a program-best No. 26 ITA ranking.
- Women’s tennis doubles pair of Dunja Antunovic and Kirsten Gambrell reached No. 36 while the pair of Anna Redecsi and Selma Salkovic reached as high as No. 64 in the ITA rankings.
- Women's tennis student-athlete Dunja Antunovic was given the ITA/Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship.
- Head women's tennis coach Mark Ardizzone was awarded ITA Midwest Regional Coach of the Year as well as the BIG EAST Coach of the Year.
- Both men’s and women’s tennis finished a program best second in the BIG EAST.
- Brad Millar advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the hammer throw after placing fourth at the Mideast Regional.
- Women’s Basketball, Golf, Softball and Women’s Tennis were recognized by the NCAA for top academic performance as part of the NCAA Academic Reform Program.