areas of expertise
- Strategic Planning
- Executive Searches
- Operational Review
Steve McDonnell has worked in leadership roles in higher education for over 36 years. For the past 28 years, he has worked as the director of student-athlete support services at the Division I level. He is a well-respected leader in student-athlete services at the national level.
Steve is the recipient of the N4A Distinguished Service Award (2006) and the N4A Lan Hewlett Award (2009).
Steve was the Director of Student-Athlete Services at Iowa State University from 1987 to 1999. In 1999, he became Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Academic Services at Texas A&M University. He served in this role until 2008, when he moved to Fort Collins, Colorado to work in Student-Athlete Services at Colorado State University. He became Director of Student-Athlete Services at CSU in 2011 and served in this capacity until his official retirement in June 2014. While at Colorado State, Steve helped to create the John Mosley Leadership Program, in collaboration with the staff of the Black/African-American Cultural Center. This program is designed to help African-American student-athletes meet the academic and cultural challenges of adjusting to a predominantly white university and community. Throughout Steve’s career at these institutions, the graduation rates and academic performances of student-athletes have shown significant improvements.
Steve was an active participant in the National Association of Athletic Academic Advisors (N4A) throughout his career. He served on the N4A Board of Directors for 10 years, including the positions of regional representative and national president (2004-2005). During his tenure as president, Steve helped to establish the N4A Professional Development Institute as a training program for aspiring student-athlete services directors. While sering on the N4A Board, he was asked to participate in an NCAA Task Force to review the needs of at-risk student-athletes (2007 to 2009). He also recently served on an N4A Committee that created best practices for maintaining academic integrity (2013 to 2014). In 2007 Steve assisted in writing a Student-Athlete Support Services Evaluation Guide that was utilized by the NCAA.
Steve served on the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association CHAMPS Board of Advisors from 2002 to 2008. He was the recipient of the Gene Hooks Award for Outstanding CHAMPS Program Coordinator in 2004. McDonnell has served as a consultant to review student-athlete support services programs at Division I universities. He has also presented workshops on Creating a Culture of Graduating, Academic Integrity and Tips for First Time Directors.
If you’d like to discuss a current area of need, please fill out the form and we’ll be in touch ASAP: