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2013-01-24

New St. Mary's AD has Bandera connection

By Carolyn B. Edwards BCC Staff Writer

Elizabeth Dalton, a long-time UTSA administrator, has been named the next Athletics Director for St. Mary's University in San Antonio, effective Feb. 11. Dalton is the daughter of Neal Dalton and the late Helen Carr Dalton of Bandera.
Dalton, who has been with the UTSA Athletics Department for 12 years, is currently UTSA's Deputy Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator. Before joining UTSA, she managed the administrative aspects of recruiting and football operations for the University of Notre Dame. Dalton holds both a bachelor's and a master's degree from Texas A&M University, where she played soccer as a student-athlete.
St. Mary's University began in 1852 as an all-boys school in downtown San Antonio. It was not until 1927 that the college, having moved to its current location, offered co-ed classes during the summer term.
"I don't really look at [this job] as a female thing," said Dalton, now one of the nation's few female university athletic directors. "I had the opportunity to work with Lynn Hickey at Texas A&M and at UTSA and she's one of the best. She has been an excellent mentor."
Hickey was head women's basketball coach at A&M before moving into administration. She currently serves at the athletic director for UTSA.
Because of that experience with Hickey, Dalton said she is very excited about starting the new job at St. Mary's, and "I have a certain level of confidence going in."
The St. Mary's Athletics Director position has long been held by an active coach; however, with the construction of the new $16 million outdoors sports complex, the responsibilities of the AD have grown into a full-time position. Dalton was selected after a nationwide search, led by a committee of faculty, staff, alumni and head baseball coach Charlie Migl, who has served as AD for the past 12 years. Migl - one of the winningest coaches in St. Mary's history - asked to continue coaching in lieu of being a full-time AD.
"Liz Dalton will bring to St. Mary's her substantial experience as a top athletics administrator at both a leading Catholic institution and large public universities. Her record of strong leadership and outstanding results has benefited innumerable students at Notre Dame, Texas A&M and UTSA, and we are excited to have Liz's energy and talent at St. Mary's as we strive to be the best Division II program in the nation," said St. Mary's President Tom Mengler. "St. Mary's has a long and storied tradition of success in athletics, both on the field and off, and Liz is the right person to continue our winning tradition. The new $16 million outdoor sports facilities, in addition to our already stellar Bill Greehey Arena, position St. Mary's to be a premier sports destination for the community and the region, and we are pleased to have Liz leading that effort."
"Having grown up in San Antonio, I know the outstanding athletics traditions of St. Mary's University, and I look forward to being a part of continuing those traditions for our current student-athletes and into the future," Dalton said. "The addition of the new sports facilities positions the University to attract not only outstanding student-athletes but also premier sporting contests that will benefit our community and our economy. This is an exciting time at St. Mary's University and I am pleased to be a part of it."
The new outdoor sports complex, called The Park at St. Mary's, will be a modern, multi-use facility capable of hosting NCAA tournaments and championships. Construction on the complex began last year and will be complete this spring. It will feature upgraded facilities for athletes and fans, including renovations to the baseball field and construction of new baseball facilities, additional tennis courts, two soccer fields and two softball fields with a stadium and locker rooms. The project is a partnership between St. Mary's and Bexar County, with a $6 million grant provided by the Bexar County Community Venues Program.
St. Mary's fields 12 NCAA Division II sports teams. "Our baseball team was in the national championships last year and they are ranked number one in our division again this season," said Dalton. The university has earned six national sports titles.
St. Mary's University has been nationally recognized repeatedly for its commitment to service and community engagement. It has been listed numerous times in US News & World Report's "America's Best Colleges" rankings. Over 4,000 students attend the Catholic and Marianist university known for its academic excellence.

Pictured: Photo courtesy Antonio Morano Photography
St. Mary's University's new athletic director, Elizabeth Dalton, was introduced to the student body at a Rattler's basketball game in Greehey Arena Saturday.