The search is finally over as a new head athletic director has been named at SF State.
The University announced the hiring of Stephanie Shrieve-Hawkins on March 29, after months of searching for the right candidate.
SF State President Leslie Wong released a statement shortly after the news broke stating that he was “excited about the future under Stephanie’s leadership.”
It was back in October 2017 when the last director, Charles Guthrie, resigned from his position to take on the same position at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. That left the Gators with a huge hole in the program, one that took months of preparation and hard work to fill.
“Charles left his position in October and we were really fortunate to have Bill Nephal step in as interim,” said Nicole Bolter, who was co-chairman of the search committee.
The committee was put together shortly after the resignation of Guthrie and had their first meeting in December during finals week of the fall 2017 semester.
By the time the new year began, applications for the position were already being received. Out of all the candidates to apply, Shrieve-Hawkins was the one who stood out above the rest and was ultimately chosen for the job.
“I knew if I was going to make that move to be athletic director, I wanted it to be at a Division II school. I wanted it to be in the Bay Area, and I wanted to be back at a public institution,” said Shrieve-Hawkins. “So that was kind of slim pickings.”
Luckily for Shrieve-Hawkins, the Gators were able to offer her a position that fit the exact job description she was looking for. However, just because the job was perfect for her doesn’t mean that it was going to be given to her. The searching committee had a number of other qualified candidates that had an interest in the job as well.
“I knew there were some very strong candidates in the pool. That made me slightly nervous but also really honored to be in that group of people,” said Shrieve-Hawkins.
Despite the tough competition, it’s clear that Shrieve-Hawkins was the perfect candidate for the job. She is a San Francisco native who once lived in Park Merced, but it has since become University housing. She was also a student-athlete in the CSU system herself, having attended California State University, Fullerton on a volleyball scholarship.
“Stephanie connected quickly with each person she met on campus and impressed everyone throughout the day,” said head baseball coach Anthony Schifano, who was a member of the search committee. “The committee was very impressed with her knowledge of the university and felt she possesses the ability to connect with our current student body, alumni and boosters.”
“That pool [of candidates] was deep and wide, and it went quickly, so credit to the search chairs,” Wong said. “The committee did a wonderful job.”
While becoming a head athletic director is tough for any candidate that wants the position, it is especially difficult for women to reach this plateau.
“I think there’s only 10 to 15 percent of all athletic directors that are women,” said Bolter. “What you’ll see is that the percentage goes slightly down as you move up in division, so Division I there’s even less than Division II which is less than Division III. So yeah, it is quite uncommon in that regard.”
Regardless of gender, it’s hard pressed to find a candidate more passionate than Shrieve-Hawkins is for the job. While she hasn’t officially started her term as the head director yet, she already has big plans in store for the program.
“SF State athletics is already on the map, but I want to make sure that as many people know about our athletic department and our campus community as I can,” said Shrieve-Hawkins. “What if San Francisco State was number one in the nation for a Division II program? That’s my dream for SF State, for people to walk around and be proud of being at a place that has a prominent Division II athletic program.”
Shrieve-Hawking will officially begin her job as the Head Athletic Director on May 1.