Harrity’s hire heralds a new start

  • Mike Harrity, the deputy athletics director and chief operating officer for the Army West Point Athletic Association, has been named Dartmouth's athletics director, starting July 18. (Dartmouth College - Eli Burakian) Dartmouth College — Eli Burakian

  • Mike Harrity, his wife, Megan, and daughters Evelyn and Grace visited campus earlier this week. Harritty has been hired as Dartmouth College's new athletics director. Dartmouth College — Eli Burakian

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/9/2022 9:31:31 PM
Modified: 6/9/2022 9:29:23 PM

HANOVER — Dartmouth College has hired Mike Harrity as its new athletic director, selecting the 45-year-old from Army West Point, where he was the deputy athletics director and chief operating officer of that institution’s sports department.

Harrity, who will begin work for the Big Green on July 18, replaces interim athletic director Peter Roby. Roby was tapped in February 2021 after the awkward handling of five sports programs’ elimination and reinstatement led to the exit of predecessor Harry Sheehy, who had been on the job for 10 years.

“Mike is a visionary leader who brings more than two decades of hands-on experience,” Dartmouth President Phil Hanlon said in a news release. “He is a student of leadership with a deep commitment to the health and well-being of athletes and those who support them.”

Harrity is a native of Kansas City, Kan. His parents, Oknan and John, met in South Korea when the latter was serving in the Army. A first-generation college student, Harrity earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a master’s in education with a focus on sports administration from the University of Kansas.

Having plucked Sheehy from his long-standing employment at smaller Williams College in northwestern Massachusetts, Dartmouth this time went for a candidate from the NCAA big time. Harrity began his full-time athletics administration career at the University of Minnesota before returning to his alma mater.

Harrity remained with the Jayhawks for seven years, his last position being associate athletics director. He was then at the University of Notre Dame for eight years, the last six as senior associate athletic director. He was the sport administrator for women’s soccer, where for four seasons he worked with former Dartmouth head coach Theresa Romagnolo.

Harrity moved to Army West Point in March 2020. He had direct responsibility for several of the day-to-day functions of the 30-team, 1,100-cadet athletic department, including as lead executive for the annual Army-Navy football game.

He was also involved in strategizing a $95 million capital campaign to improve the academy’s historic Michie Stadium.

For the past eight years, Harrity has served on the Sports Management Institute’s executive committee. Founded in 1989 as a joint venture of the athletic departments and business school administration on each sponsoring institution's campus, the program is a graduate-level business program for athletic administrators. Sponsoring institutions are the University of Georgia, the University of Michigan, the University of North Carolina, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Southern California and the University of Texas.

The program is a seven-month course which includes 10 total days in residence, a seven-day summer session and a three-day winter session at two of the sponsoring institutions.

In 2012, Harrity published Coaching Wisdom: Champion Coaches and Their Players Share Successful Leadership Principles, based on interviews with 13 top coaches in the NHL and NFL as well as NCAA Division I.

The release on Harrity’s hiring included glowing quotes from Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame’s longtime athletic director and vice president.

“The future of Big Green student-athletes, coaches and fans got much brighter today,” Swarbrick said. “Mike is one of the best strategic thinkers I have worked with and, even more importantly, he understands what it takes to achieve competitive success while also maximizing the experience of the student-athlete.”

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.

CORRECTION: Mike Harrity, Dartmouth College’s newly hired athletic director, is the outgoing chief operating officer for Army West Point athletics. He began his time at Army in March 2020. An earlier version of this story was incorrect on these points. 

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