BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh University’s Murray H. Goodman ’48 Dean of Athletics, Joe Sterrett has been named the 2010-11 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year for the Northeast region of the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), it was announced Monday by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Sterrett completed his 22nd year as AD at Lehigh including his sixth in the endowed Dean of Athletics position. In all, 28 athletic directors were recognized with four geographic regions separated into seven categories. Sterrett was one of four athletic directors honored from FCS football schools, along with Charlie Cobb (Appalachian State), Robert Hill (Stephen F. Austin) and Ron Prettyman (Indiana State).
A former All-America quarterback at Lehigh, Sterrett has successfully balanced his strong ethical character and “big picture” vision with his family values.
"For 22 years in my current role and for 35 years total, it has been an honor for to represent Lehigh University and to serve our coaches, staff and student- athletes,” Sterrett said. “Although we are not the most accomplished athletics program in our league, the quality of the people at Lehigh and the shared passion for the educational mission and the value of competing makes my job a very special privilege. Our work is teamwork, and as such, individual recognition isn't appropriate so this award is really a collective honor. At Lehigh there are many good people, who consistently do good things while keeping perspective about what really matters in life; that truly is worthy of recognition."
In competition, Lehigh captured three Patriot League Championships in the 2010-11 academic year: women’s soccer, football and softball; while in March 2010 Lehigh captured Patriot League titles in both men’s and women’s basketball and advanced to the NCAA tournament. In addition, Lehigh’s wrestling program returned to the top ten in the nation in 2011, and has produced four All-Americans and the program’s 27th national champion over the last two seasons.
Beyond its athletics success, Lehigh teams and student-athletes regularly earn distinction in national polls and as All-Americans, Academic All-Americans and national champions.
Last month 12 Lehigh teams were honored for their academic success with NCAA Public Recognition Awards, the third straight year at least 12 teams ranked in the top ten percent within their sport in terms of Academic Progress Rate (APR).
One of Sterrett’s most noteworthy innovations is his establishment of the Center for Athletics Leadership, which is designed to identify and nurture student-athletes as team leaders and build lifetime leadership skills.
Sterrett is in his 35th year of service to Lehigh. He received his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh in 1976, majoring in finance and social psychology. As an undergraduate he earned All-America status as a senior quarterback and played on two Lambert Cup Championship teams. Sterrett earned his master’s degree in educational administration from Lehigh while serving as a graduate assistant football coach. Throughout his tenure as a full-time assistant football coach, Sterrett pursued the doctor of education degree concentrating in sports administration at Temple University, and received the degree in January of 1984.
Sterrett has provided leadership since the inception of the Patriot League, and has served as chairman of the Patriot League Committee on Athletics Administration and NCAA Division I FCS Championship Committee, and has also been a member of the NCAA Football Issues Committee and the NCAA Division I Management Council.
The AD of the Year award will be presented during NACDA’s 46th annual convention in Orlando, Florida on Saturday, June 18 at the James J. Corbett Awards Luncheon.