|Dan Mara, CACC|
|Address||P.O. Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525|
Dan Mara, an award-winning administrator and a hall-of-fame coach, is in his seventh year as Commissioner of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Mara arrived at the CACC Office after 11 years as the Associate Vice-President for Athletics and Fitness at CACC-member Post University.
During his tenure at the CACC, the conference has grown from 12 members in 2006 to the current 14 members. The addition of Chestnut Hill College (2007) and Concordia College (2009) ranks the CACC as sixth largest conference in Division II. The CACC trails only the Northeast-10, Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Great Lakes Valley Conference, and the Pennsylvania State Atheltic Conference in number of members.
In December, 2006, the CACC was established as a Non-Profit (501 C 3) Organization and in 2007, the conference secured an NCAA Strategic Alliance Matching Grant to fund the position of Associate Commissioner. The spring of 2009 marked the first new CACC-sponsored championship sports (Women's Lacrosse and Men's Tennis) since the conference joined the NCAA. In 2010, the CACC was awarded a grant from the NCAA Division II Membership Fund to explore possible future expansion.
While at Post, Mara served as Vice-President of the CACC Directors Council from 1998 to 2004 and chaired the conference's Ethics and Membership Committees until his appointment as Commissioner. He was a CACC representative to the NCAA Northeast Regional Division II Men's Basketball Committee from 2002-05. During that time, he was heavily involved with the CACC's move to the NCAA. Mara and Caldwell College Director of Athletics, Mark Corino, served as the conference's representatives to the NCAA and the Division II Collegiate Commissioner's Association during the leagues progression through the Provisional Conference process. The CACC was elevated to Active NCAA Membership in July of 2004.
Mara was the CACC's first representative to serve on the NCAA Division II Management Council. He represented the conference from 2004-2009. He was the Chairman of the NCAA Division II Convention Planning Team from 2007-2009 and chaired the NCAA Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee from 2007-2009. He was a Sportsmanship Committee member from 2005-2009 . He was also a member of the Division II Identity Sub-Committee. He served as a member of the Division II Infractions Penalties Sub-Committee as well as the NCAA Life and Work Balance Association-Wide Group. Mara began a four-year term on the NCAA Division II Membership Committee in September, 2010 and was elected Vice-Chair of the Committee in July, 2011. He was elevated to chairman of the committee on September 1, 2012.
From 2008-2010, Mara was President of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) after serving as Vice-President since 2006. He was an ECAC Board of Directors member from 2005 to 2013. In 2007, he chaired the ECAC Commisioner Search Committee. He also chaired the ECAC Stategic Planning, League and Afilliates and Nominating Committees and was a member of the Marketing Committee. Mara is a member of the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association and chaired the DII CCA Web Site Committee and served on the CCA Corporate Partners and Legislation Committees.
Mara led the Post University Athletic Department for eleven years (1995-2006) during which he moved the Eagles from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to full membership status in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. Mara began as Director of Athletics in 1995 and was promoted to Associate Vice-President in 2002. During his tenure, the Post athletic program grew from five varsity sports to twelve varsity, two sub-varsity and two club sports. Mara received many honors for his achievements as an athletic administrator at Post. He was named CACC Athletic Administrator of the Year in 1997-98, 2000-2001 and 2005-06 and was named NAIA Region X Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2001. The American Red Cross recognized him with the Good Neighbor Award in 2005.
He started his career in intercollegiate athletics at Mitchell College as Sports Information Director in 1976. Mara was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director in 1978 and his duties included sports information as well as coordinating recruitment for all sports. He began coaching as Assistant Softball Coach and Assistant Women's Basketball Coach in 1977. His first Head Coaching Position was as Mitchell's Baseball Coach in 1979. He became Head Women's Basketball Coach in 1984 and also served as Head Softball Coach in 1990 and 1991. During his time as Recruiting Coordinator, Mitchell teams won five national titles and 40 New England Championships.
Mara coached the Mitchell College Women's Basketball Team for ten seasons and compiled a career mark of 289-16 (.947 winning percentage). His teams won ten National Junior College Athletic Association New England titles and reached two National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Final Fours. In five different seasons the Pequots reached number one in the NJCAA National Poll. During his tenure Mitchell established a national record for consecutive regular season victories. The streak, which ultimately reached 234, was at 223 straight when Mara departed Mitchell to become Director of Athletics at Post University. The Pequots fashioned undefeated regular season records in every campaign from 1987-88 until his departure after the 1994-1995 season. The 1994-95 team, which reached the NJCAA Final Four, was inducted in to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
At Mitchell, Mara coached ten Kodak All-Americans including future WNBA All-Star Rita Williams. Williams went on the University of Connecticut and was the 12th pick in the 1998 WNBA Draft. Williams was one of over a dozen student-athletes to go on to play Division I basketball from the Mitchell Program. The Mitchell women were not just successful on the court. Ninety Eight percent graduated from Mitchell and an equal percentage continued their education at four-year colleges.
Mara is a member of three halls of fame. He was inducted into the Mitchell College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 and the NJCAA Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. He was featured in an article in the March 7, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine and in the book Basketball for Dummies by Digger Phelps.
He spent 16 years as a director of the highly successful Fundamental Basketball Camp at Mitchell College and served on the staff of the Irish Basketball Association (IBA) Basketball Camp in Dungarvan, Ireland for eight years (1994-2002) working under legendary Irish Coach Fergus Woods.
He was named NJCAA New England Women's Basketball Coach of the Year nine times, Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Coach of the Year six times, NJCAA District Coach of the Year three times and Converse District One Coach of the Year in 1994. He was named CSAC Softball Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1991 for leading the Pequots to the conference championship both seasons. He coached the Post Men's Basketball Team to a fourth place finish in the CACC in his only season, 1996-97.
Mara holds degrees from Mitchell College and Roger Williams University as well as a Graduate Certificate from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He is a native of Connecticut and lives with his son, ten-year old Danny (Pictured at right).
|Ellen O'Brien, CACC|
|Address||P.O. Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525|
Ellen O'Brien was hired as the Associate Commissioner at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) on July 16, 2012. She also serves as the conference’s Senior Woman Administrator (SWA).
A native of Bethesda, Md., O’Brien is primarily responsible for eligibility, budget, the conference grant program and educational opportunities for conference members. She also serves as the conference office liaison to the CACC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the CACC Senior Woman Administrator Committee and the CACC Compliance Coordinators.
“Ellen brings a wide range of previous experience to the CACC,” Commissioner Mara said. “Her versatility and dedication to collegiate athletics will be a benefit to the CACC and each of its member schools. She will be able to relate to and assist both the student-athletes and the administrators at the 14 CACC schools.”
|Jonathan Harper, CACC|
|Title||Assistant Commissioner for Strategic Communications|
|Address||PO Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525|
Jonathan Harper was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) on March 1, 2013.
Harper comes to the CACC after serving as Commissioner of The Little East Conference since February, 2008. Harper was the first full-time commissioner of the NCAA Division III League. As commissioner, he managed all aspects of the conference and oversaw 19 championship sports. He also initiated the conference’s official video streaming site through www.littleeast.tv .and www.littleeast.mobi. Harper established a corporate partnership program for the conference that increased services and revenue.
“Jonathan is a very talented individual with significant experience on the Division II and III level. We are pleased to welcome Jonathan back to Division II and feel he will bring his knowledge and vision to the CACC Communication Plan as well as to the web site with particular interest in adding video to many areas of the site. He is well known to many of the constituencies in the CACC and we expect him to be a great resource for our member institutions." Mara said.
“I am looking forward to returning to Division II and working with the membership of the CACC. This conference has a wonderful tradition of excellence in athletics and academics. I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the success of the league.” Harper said.
Prior to joining the East Coast Conference as Commissioner
in August 2007, Harper served as the Vice President for Sports
Operations at Penn Atlantic, Inc following seven years with the
Northeast-10 Conference office. He was the primary liaison for
sales and marketing operations for Penn Atlantic with NCAA member
conferences and institutions as well as professional sports
During his tenure at the Northeast-10, Harper was involved in all facets of the conference, serving as Director of Media Relations in 1999 before being promoted to Assistant Commissioner in January 2002 and Associate Commissioner a year later. He developed exposure for the NE-10 in the several media mediums, including creating a web casting program for football, basketball, and all 10 conference championships on the internet. Harper designed and maintained the conference web site, and streamlined the conference awards program. He also assisted in the establishment of the first Northeast-10 Hall of Fame.
Harper served as the Assistant Director of Athletics and Sports Information Director at Fitchburg State College following the completion of the ECAC Asa S. Bushnell Internship Program in 1998. From 1995-1998, he served as member of the management team for the Bourne Braves of the Cape Cod Baseball League while completing an internship with the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Department of Athletics in 1997.
Harper received his bachelor of science in physical education from Bridgewater State College in 1997, while earning his master of science in education with a specialization in sports management from Nova Southeastern University in December of 2003.