MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saint Anselm College President Dr. Steven R. DiSalvo announced Monday afternoon that Jim Herlihy has been selected as the 11th Director of Athletics in Saint Anselm’s history. Herlihy will begin his tenure May 1.
“I am excited to have Jim Herlihy join the leadership team at Saint Anselm College as our new athletic director,” Dr. DiSalvo said. “Jim’s experience with the NCAA, his track record of success and his professional demeanor will help lead Saint Anselm College athletics to the next level.”
Herlihy, who will arrive on the Hilltop after finishing up his seventh year at the University of Montevallo, a Division II member institution, in Montevallo, Ala., will report directly to President DiSalvo and will sit as a member of his cabinet. Herlihy replaces Dr. Jo-Ann Nester, who has served in an interim capacity since October after a previous stint as the Director of Athletics from 2009-11.
“I am thrilled to have an athletic director of Jim Herlihy’s caliber take over our athletic program,” Dr. Nester said. “He will bring a wealth of experience and great vision to the College. We are very fortunate to have him and I think President DiSalvo has made an excellent choice for this very important leadership role.”
Herlihy, who has over 25 years of experience in athletic administration, led Montevallo through a period of transformational changes during his tenure. In addition to spearheading five new sport offerings, he oversaw the development of brand new facilities for cross country, outdoor track and softball, as well as significant renovations and upgrades for the baseball, soccer and tennis facilities. Montevallo also completed a switch in conference affiliation under the leadership of Herlihy.
“I am honored and humbled to join the Saint Anselm College community,” said Herlihy.” I would like to thank President DiSalvo and [Vice President for Student Affairs] Dr. [Joseph] Horton for their confidence in me to lead this division. Saint Anselm is a preeminent liberal arts college with a student-focused approach to comprehensive excellence and athletics is aligned within that mission of education and excellence. I am excited to work with the athletics staff and entire Anselmian community to provide our student-athletes, and all students, with the best possible experience.”
Herlihy guided Montevallo through a period of unprecedented success, not only on the field of play, but in the classroom and community, as well. The department has moved up 81 places, nationally, in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings while fielding five All-Americans, two Academic All-Americans (the first in over 14 years), the first-ever conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year, five Peach Belt Conference championship teams and eight conference finalists. Under his supervision, 10 different sports have participated in NCAA postseason play, including a men's basketball appearance in the 2012 National Championship game.
Since he took over as Director of Athletics midway through the 2007-08 academic year, Montevallo increased its student-athlete population by over 100 percent, yet still has developed a culture for a high level of academic excellence. More than 60 percent of all Montevallo athletes have posted a grade point average of 3.0 or higher and the department has posted record semester and cumulative GPA's while graduating student-athletes at a rate 20 percent higher than the student body at-large.
Under his direction, Montevallo embraced the NCAA Division II philosophy of community engagement and has demonstrated a high level of commitment to the campus and surrounding communities. Montevallo was honored by the Peach Belt Conference in 2009-10 and 2011-12 for its community engagement initiatives. In the fall of 2013, Montevallo was selected as the PBC winner and a national finalist for the NCAA DII Award of Excellence, which recognizes a commitment to growth opportunities through academic achievement, learning in high-level athletics competition and development of positive societal attitudes in service to the community.
An active committee member both on campus, as well as within the conference and NCAA, Herlihy currently serves on the NCAA DII Management Council, and as a member of the NCAA DII Finance & Planning Committee and DII Identity Committee. He is also a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, (NACDA) and has served on the Board of Directors for the D2 Athletic Directors Association. Herlihy is also a member of both the College Athletic Business Management Association (CABMA) and the Collegiate Event & Facility Management Association (CEFMA).
Prior to joining Montevallo, he spent three-and-a-half years as an Assistant Athletic Director at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla. In that role, he oversaw all aspects of the financial operations and external relations and had sport supervision for five teams. Additionally, he has worked in revenue-generating positions in Major League Baseball front offices of both the Philadelphia Phillies and Texas Rangers franchises. Herlihy began his career in collegiate athletics working in sports information at both Bates College and Plymouth State University.
Herlihy earned a bachelor’s degree from Plymouth State University and a master’s degree in sports management from the University of Alabama. He also completed the Sports Management Institute's executive education program, sponsored by the University of Notre Dame and University of Georgia, in 2011.
Herlihy and his wife, Peggy, have two children. Their daughter, Elizabeth, is currently a freshman at the University of South Florida, while their son, T.J., is a junior in high school.