Julie Soriero, athletics director at MIT, will be the 2018 recipient of the NCAA President’s Pat Summitt Award, making her the first Division III administrator and second person overall to receive the honor. Soriero will accept the award Jan. 18 at the 2018 NCAA Convention in Indianapolis.
Created in 2017, the award recognizes an individual in the Association’s membership who has demonstrated devotion to development of student-athletes and has made a positive impact on their lives.
“Julie Soriero is a natural and deserving recipient of this award,” President Mark Emmert said. “Like Pat Summitt, Julie has dedicated her entire career as a coach and administrator to preparing college athletes, and women in particular, for success in college and throughout their lives. With her leadership for the past decade, MIT has offered elite opportunities for students to pursue rigorous academics and athletics at the highest level.”
Soriero is in her 11th year as director of athletics at MIT. With her leadership, MIT has placed in the top 10 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup, a program that honors schools maintaining a broad-based program that achieves success in both men’s and women’s sports, four of the past five years. MIT teams have averaged nearly 10 conference championships, 90 All-Americans and 13 College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-Americans per year during that same span. In 2012, Soriero was named the 2014-15 Division III Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.
A former Penn State women’s basketball student-athlete, Soriero spent 21 years coaching women’s college basketball before transitioning into a role in athletics administration at Colorado College. She worked at Colorado College for nine years, concluding as athletics director, before accepting her current role at MIT.
She has been active in the college sports governance process, serving on multiple NCAA committees, including chairing the Committee on Women’s Athletics, serving on the Division III Management Council and working with the Women’s Basketball Rules Committee. Soriero also is the current president of Women Leaders in College Sports.
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this year’s NCAA President’s Pat Summitt Award, and I would like to thank President Emmert for this recognition,” Soriero said. “As a former women’s basketball coach, I admired and respected Pat Summitt as a coach and as a leader. Like so many of us who work with students, she set her expectations and goals high with the appropriate amount of compassion — for herself, her staff and her student-athletes. This recognition is so meaningful to me and serves as a reminder of the value and importance of the work we do every day in intercollegiate athletics.”
Award recipients are selected annually by the NCAA president and will receive a $10,000 honorarium to donate to the organization of the honoree’s choice that combats or researches neurological diseases of the brain. Soriero plans to donate the honorarium to Bay Cove Human Services, an organization in Boston that provides care to individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses and substance abuse addictions.
“With the honorarium provided by the NCAA, I have elected to support Bay Cove Human Services in Boston,” Soriero said. “Mental Illness has such a broad reach, and this is an opportunity to take this very generous gift and support individuals, families and communities at a very grass-roots level in the city of Boston. Bay Cove offers many options to help people with mental illness as they strive to establish and maintain full, rich lives. I am pleased to be able to support this local organization and very appreciative of the opportunities that will be provided through the honorarium that accompanies this award.”
The inaugural recipient of the Pat Summitt Award was Joan Cronan, longtime administrator at Tennessee. (Editor’s note: Cronan is also a United States Sport Academy Trustee)
By Meghan Durham