Indianapolis, Ind. – St. Mary's College of Maryland head women's basketball coach/Senior Woman Administrator Crystal Gibson was one of 25 senior-level athletics administrators, who have committed to becoming directors of athletics, selected to participate in the 2017 NCAA Pathway Program.
The participants were picked for the yearlong experiential learning opportunity by a committee which includes current athletics administrators and past program attendees across all NCAA divisions.
"I'm extremely excited to have been selected for participation in the NCAA Pathway Program. This is a tremendous opportunity to learn and grow in the area of collegiate athletic administration. In addition, it places me on the path to achieving my goal of leading an athletic department. I have had the opportunity to participant in several other NCAA administrative programming and each one has been excellent," expressed Gibson.
Gibson will be entering her seventh season at the helm of the Seahawk women's basketball program in 2017-18 and has been the athletic department's Senior Woman Administrator since 2012. She just wrapped up her two-year as the chair of the Capital Athletic Conference women's basketball committee.
For the senior-level athletics administrators who participate, the Pathway Program provides an unprecedented opportunity to gain insight into every facet of an athletics department, preparing them to become well-rounded leaders who are equipped with the tools an effective athletics director needs. Each program participant is mentored by a current NCAA athletics director and a current university chancellor or president who have committed to helping the Pathway participants grow during the program and after completing it.
The timeline of the yearlong program was altered for 2017 to maximize the participants' exposure to senior leaders in college athletics. Programming starts in late June with a weeklong session at the NCAA national office in Indianapolis, continues with quarterly meetings throughout the year, and culminates in June 2018 at the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics convention in Washington, D.C.
These in-person sessions will include opportunities to engage with university and college presidents, who will shed light on the role of athletics directors, reinforce the value of athletics on campus and provide candid answers to participants' questions. Along with NCAA governance meetings, program participants will participate in a simulation of their first staff meeting as a director of athletics, receive advice on beginning their first 90 days in an athletics director chair, participate in case studies on campus-relevant topics and learn best practices from current and former athletics directors.
"The Pathway Program is an unmatched opportunity, exposing highly qualified athletics administrators to the latest information and robust experiences, delivered by practiced experts in the field," said Bernard Franklin, NCAA executive vice president of education and community engagement and chief inclusion officer. "Administrators who complete the program not only gain technical knowledge but graduate with confidence and quality decision-making skills."
NCAA leadership development, located in Indianapolis, coordinates and facilitates education and training for college athletes, coaches and athletics administrators. The staff annually hosts programs, at little or no cost to members, using expert curriculum designed to enhance the well-being and personal development of college athletes. The staff also provides ongoing education and topical training to athletics professionals who identify and serve student-athlete needs. For more information, visit ncaa.org/leadershipdevelopment.