Monmouth announced that Deputy Athletic Director Jeff Stapleton would take over as the school's new Director of Athletics effective on July 1.
Stapleton takes over from Dr. Marilyn McNeil, who announced her retirement from the post after 28 extraordinary years in the job.
Stapleton, the seventh Director of Athletics in school history, has been a Monmouth staple working for the school for the last 31 years in various positions. His most significant role over the last few years has been ushering Monmouth into one brand new facility, the OceanFirst Bank Center, and being at the forefront of a major renovation of Kessler Field. Stapleton also oversaw massive upgrades to other on-campus facilities as Monmouth became one of the state's premier athletic programs.
"I am delighted to name Jeff Stapleton to this important position," Monmouth University President Dr. Patrick Leahy. "He has served this University tirelessly for 31 years and in those years has been instrumental in developing one of the top mid-major programs in the nation. However, what impresses me most about Jeff is his vision for the future of Monmouth Athletics, in particular his commitment to providing high-quality, equitable, and inclusive opportunities for our coaches and their student-athletes. The future of Monmouth Athletics is in very good hands."
In a college athletics landscape where schools usually go outside their family to find a new AD, Monmouth chose to stay in-house with Stapleton. In addition to his recent Deputy AD duties, Stapleton also worked as the school's television liaison helping the school gain exposure before ESPN coming on board with the school.
"I'd like to thank President Leahy for entrusting me with this opportunity to lead the Monmouth Athletics Department, one which has been part of my life and my family's life for over 30 years," said Stapleton. "I would also like to thank Dr. Marilyn McNeil for her leadership over the last 28 years. She has set the foundation for how a Division I athletic department should operate, and I've been fortunate enough to have a front-row seat for the entirety of that time."
"The Monmouth University community is a special place; we have some of the best and longest-tenured coaches and staff members. Together we will keep the tradition of on-field excellence while continuing the overall mission of providing the most comprehensive and rewarding experience for our student-athletes."
The End of an Era at Monmouth University
Stapleton replaces McNeil, who is arguably one of the most prolific mid-major Athletic Directors in the country. When she was hired in 1994, she was the first female athletic director at any college in New Jersey. Under her watch, Monmouth became a basketball powerhouse in the Northeast Conference and now MAAC. She also helped guide the football program from an Independent to an FBS-caliber program. She has also been a tireless advocate of women's sports. Of the seven new sports added during McNeil's tenure, five of them were women's sports.
"I am very pleased with the appointment of Jeff Stapleton as the next AD for Monmouth," said McNeil. "Jeff has been my deputy throughout my tenure, and he has been very loyal and wise. He was a part of every major decision and I always sought his important counsel. He was a humble and thoughtful Deputy. I have every confidence that he will lead this department forward and upward and wish him nothing but the best!"
The Hawks are currently in the middle of their Spring sports seasons, including Big South football, where Monmouth is currently 2-0.