Donna Woodruff named new athletic director at Loyola

May 23, 2017 | WNST Staff


BALTIMORE – Donna (Mulhern) Woodruff, an administrator with more than 20 years of experience in college athletics, was named assistant vice president and director of athletics at Loyola University Maryland in an event held Tuesday at Ridley Athletic Complex.

Woodruff joins Loyola after spending the last 13 years at Stony Brook University where she has served as the Deputy Director of Athletics since July 2014.

“Donna has a tremendous depth and breadth of experience and brings a vision that will truly help Loyola University Maryland and Greyhounds athletics continue to gain in national prominence,” said Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J., Loyola’s president. “Particularly as we implement our new strategic plan, The Ignatian Compass, we recognize the marvelous opportunity for us to strengthen our athletics program to engage our entire community—students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, administrators, as well as the greater Baltimore community.”

At Stony Brook, Woodruff is the highest-ranking member of the Director of Athletics Senior Executive Team with oversight of 115 department staff members and a budget of $30 million. She joined the school on Long Island in May 2004 as an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator before garnering a change in title to senior associate director of athletics after just one year.

“I am ecstatic about this opportunity to join the Loyola University family, and I want to especially thank Father Linnane, (Senior Vice President) Terry Sawyer, (incoming Vice President) Rob Kelly, and Jeff Nattans, alumnus and chair of the search committee, for their assistance throughout this process,” Woodruff said. “They have all shared with me the wonderful community that exists here at Loyola, and I look forward to collaborating with our supportive alumni, the incredible campus administration, the great City of Baltimore and our colleagues throughout the Patriot League. More importantly, I look forward to working with the impressive coaches, staff and student-athletes who represent the Greyhounds.”

Woodruff oversees the Seawolves’ capital planning, financial operations, human resources, facilities and events, student-athlete development and compliance, among other areas of responsibility. She has direct supervision of Stony Brook’s men’s and women’s basketball, women’s lacrosse and volleyball programs, after having previously worked with several other teams.

The 1990 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania has managed the capital facility and construction projects for the $21.1 million renovation of Island Federal Credit Union Arena, as well as a current $5.7 million expansion of LaValle Stadium and $10 million indoor training facility. She has also managed renovations and construction of the university’s pool, Joe Nathan Baseball Field, the Goldstein Family Student-Athlete Development Center and a track and field complex.

She brings significant experience in fundraising initiatives, donor cultivation and alumni relations to Loyola, and she has also developed and implemented multiple strategic plans for the Stony Brook Athletic Department. Woodruff has been key in enhancing the student-athlete experiences of the Seawolves and has helped create and advance the school’s LifeSkills programming and gender equity initiatives.

“Donna is prepared to elevate athletics to new levels and establish the Greyhounds as the premiere athletic program here in Baltimore, the Patriot League and the NCAA,” said Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D., a current Loyola trustee and incoming vice president and special assistant to the president who will oversee athletics. “I am looking forward to working with Donna, the coaches and the entire department to animate the Ignatian Culture of Engagement of which athletics is vital.”

The Philadelphia-area native was recently a member of the NCAA Division I Recruiting and Athletics Personnel Cabinet, serving a four-year term that ended in July 2016. She has been a featured speaker at Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly known as NACWAA, the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators), and she was a part of the 2010-11 Sports Management Institute Class.

In 2011, she was a recipient of the NACWAA Administrator of the Year for her work with the Seawolves.

Woodruff’s participation in college athletics dates to her days at Penn where she was a standout field hockey and lacrosse player for the Quakers. She was a five-time All-Ivy League selection, earning the honors three times in lacrosse and twice in field hockey. She was a National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-America honorable mention recipient following her senior season, and she also earned regional All-America honors from the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association.

She led Penn to the 1988 NCAA Semifinals and was named to the NCAA All-Tournament Team, to date the only Quaker player to be so honored. Woodruff was recognized for her excellence on the field as a member of Penn’s Athletic Hall of Fame Class X in May 2017.

After graduation, she joined Penn’s field hockey and lacrosse coaching staffs as an assistant coach. She worked with the Quakers’ lacrosse team from 1991-95 and the field hockey program from 1991-2000. In 1996, she joined the athletic administration at Penn, working in a variety of roles.

While at Penn, she also served as the regional administrative director for the United States Field Hockey Association Olympic Development Program from 1993-96. In that role, she managed and organized more than 650 athletes, 80 coaches, 15 athletic trainers and 15 site directors for participation in six months of training sessions following a curriculum developed by the National Coaching Staff. Woodruff has been a member of the University of Pennsylvania Field Hockey Alumnae Board since 2007 and currently serves as the Chair of that board.

She moved to nearby Villanova University in December 2000 where she worked as the Wildcats’ director of administrative services for athletics until May 2004 and her departure for Stony Brook. There, she oversaw the athletic department’s internship program and equipment operations and was a departmental liaison to several campus entities.

Woodruff earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Penn in 1990 and later received a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in higher education administration, from the Ivy League school in 2000. She was a standout student-athlete at Marple Newtown High School in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, where she was inducted to the hall of fame in 2007.

The former Donna Mulhern is married to Mark F. Woodruff.