Former MIT Director of Athletics and head of the MIT Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation Julie Soriero has been inducted into the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Hall of Fame, as announced by the NACDA National Office. The seven-member class of inductees will be recognized in conjunction with the 56th Annual NACDA and Affiliates Convention, which will be held virtually on July 27-28.
“When I think about what this honor means to me, the first thought that comes to mind is appreciation,” says Soriero. “I start with my family and my appreciation for their understanding of the late hours, weekends of work, travel, phone calls at all hours, and the pride they shared in the successes of the teams at the institutions I worked for as championships were won and tournament play unfolded. As a coach and as an administrator, I have always been passionate about the inherent lessons we are able to teach through intercollegiate athletics. I am therefore appreciative of the opportunities I have had in being named as the director of athletics to the various institutions I have been able to lead and serve.”
Soriero arrived at MIT in July 2007 as the director of athletics and the head of DAPER. Retiring in January 2020, she led MIT intercollegiate athletics through a transformation into one of the top intercollegiate athletic programs in the United States.
“Working in higher education is a privilege, and I have been fortunate to have worked alongside so many talented leaders and have enjoyed a career that has been demanding, challenging, and rewarding — all elements anyone would appreciate in a job,” Soriero says. “I also have a very deep appreciation for the many wonderful, dedicated, and talented people who I worked alongside in implementing creative ideas, developing solutions to problems, and moving a vision of excellence forward. NACDA does so many important things for professional growth in the world of collegiate athletics and to be recognized by this organization is truly an honor.”
Boasting one the largest athletics programs in the country with 33 varsity sports, under her leadership MIT captured numerous New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) championships and was awarded both the men’s and women’s NEWMAC President's Cups from 2016-17 through 2018-19. Competitively, MIT finished consistently in the top 10 in the Learfield IMG College Directors' Cup during much of her tenure, including an Institute-record second-place finish in 2017-18.
MIT also sits as the leader in NCAA Division III for Academic All-Americans. In addition to their competitive success, Soriero also focused on student development and initiated a leadership program for student athletes titled a “Culture of Care,” which focused on sexual assault prevention, mental health, diversity, and inclusion and secured an endowment fund to support these efforts and programming.
Since her initial arrival at MIT, Soriero was a tireless and successful fundraiser. Over her MIT career, she raised well over $25 million for a variety of capital project improvements or new construction. Additionally, Soriero raised funds for four head coaching endowments ($2 million), two director-level endowments ($2.5 million), and completed the fund-raising for two coaching endowments that were initiated prior to her arrival.
In 2018, Soriero received the prestigious NCAA President's Pat Summitt Award, which honors the recipient for significant lifetime achievement in demonstrating a devotion to the development of student-athletes and making a positive impact on their lives. She has received additional recognition for her leadership, including the 2014-15 Division III Under Armour Athletics Director of the Year by NACDA and the 2012 Division III Administrator of the Year by Women Leaders in College Sports.
She came to MIT from Colorado College, where she spent nine years overall that included four as the director of athletics. Before Colorado College, Soriero was the women's basketball head coach at the University of Pennsylvania for 10 years, and overall she coached for 21 years before transitioning into her career as a full-time administrator.
Soriero has been invited to conduct numerous intercollegiate program reviews on other campuses and is currently a consultant with SHIFT Executive Coaching with a focus on intercollegiate athletics administration mentoring, leadership and career development.
NACDA, now in its 56th year, is the professional and educational association for more than 22,000 college athletics administrators at more than 2,200 institutions throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. More than 6,500 athletics administrators annually attend NACDA and Affiliates Convention Week. Additionally, NACDA manages 17 professional associations and four foundations.