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The newest team on Babcock Street: three associate athletic directors

Athletics Department’s reorganization shores up student services, communication

There have been some major changes in the BU varsity sports scene during the past 15 months — and not just with the opening of Agganis Arena and the upgrading of women’s hockey from club to varsity status. A new senior administrative team is now in place as well.

In August, Drew Marrochello was named associate athletic director for internal affairs. He joins Nancy Lyons, who was appointed senior associate athletic director for compliance and student services in June 2004, and Rebecca Collet, who last April stepped into the newly established position of associate athletic director for marketing communications.

“We’ve basically split the department into three units: compliance and student services, external affairs, and internal affairs,” says Mike Lynch, assistant vice president and director of athletics in the Department of Athletics. “This creates a more traditional operation that allows me to rely on three senior-level managers rather than having everyone in the department reporting to me directly.”

Lynch says the new alignment lets him pursue a more external focus in his role as athletics director. “In trying to raise the profile of our athletic program locally as well as regionally,” he says, “I’m in the community and visiting with alumni quite a bit, which means that I have to depend on other people more to run the day-to-day operations of the organization. I think the new organization is working quite well.”

Lyons (SED’89), who had been associate director of athletics and the senior woman administrator at Northwestern University since 1996, is no stranger to BU’s athletics department, having served in several management positions from 1984 to 1993. She did postgraduate work in counseling at Southern Connecticut State University from 1994 to 1996. At BU, Lyons oversees the department’s compliance with the rules of the NCAA and the Terriers’ athletic conferences, a role filled previously by Averill Haines, who retired after serving the athletics department for 30 years.

Before joining BU, Collet was principal of Collet Communications, LLC, a private firm she founded in 2004. Prior to that, she was director of corporate affairs for John Hancock Financial Services, taking the lead in communication strategies for a number of high-profile business initiatives, including work related to the company’s 2004 merger with Manulife Financial, as well as promoting and publicizing such John Hancock sports marketing programs as its Boston Marathon and Olympic Games sponsorships. At BU her responsibilities include the integration of a new Terriers brand identity, oversight of all marking and public relations initiatives, including the development of the new GoTerriers.com Web site, and being the primary contact with Agganis Arena on basketball- and hockey-related activities.

Marrochello had been director of athletics at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, N.Y., since 1997 and was responsible for overseeing all phases of the college’s 14 sports programs, including personnel management, fundraising, development, and preparation of the annual budget, as well as policy formation and implementation. Administratively, he restructured the college’s academic-athletic coordination system, which resulted in a 92 percent retention rate.

“All three of these administrators have brought a wealth of experience and knowledge into their positions,” says Lynch. “I am very confident that our senior management team can compare with the best at the Division I level, which bodes well for our student-athletes.”