On Jan. 18 at the NCAA Convention in Indianapolis, MIT Director of Athletics Julie Soriero was presented with the 2018 NCAA President’s Pat Summitt Award by NCAA President Mark Emmert.
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.
“I really want to thank President Emmert for recognizing the legacy of Pat Summitt and creating this award,” said Soriero. “I’m certainly humbled, I’m certainly proud and I’m certainly honored to be receiving it today.”
The first Division III administrator and the second overall to receive the honor, Soriero is in her 11th year as the director of athletics at MIT. Under her leadership, the athletic program has transformed into one of the top Division III programs in the nation on an annual basis. MIT has placed in the top 10 in the Learfield Directors’ Cup in four of the past five years and currently sits second nationally after the fall season.
“When I was named to receive this honor, I was really taken aback,” said Soriero. “I coached for over 21 years the sport of women’s basketball. I admired and respected Pat Summitt so much, as I know many of you and the women I know who have been in the basketball career and who have transferred into administration did.”
During her tenure, MIT teams have averaged nearly 10 conference championships, 90 All-American and 13 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-Americans per year. In the fall of 2017, MIT became the first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) institution to claim all of the women’s fall championships as the Engineers won five league titles in total and had three teams advance to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament.
Soriero 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.
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.
The inaugural recipient of the Pat Summitt Award was Joan Cronan, longtime administrator at Tennessee.