LEAD1 Institute Scholarship Recipients Announced

Scholarships will benefit minority senior athletics administrators who are nominated to attend the LEAD1 Institute.

WASHINGTON – The LEAD1 Association today announced the recipients of the minority scholarship award for the 2019 LEAD1 Institute. The awards were funded by both LEAD1 and search firms who are sponsors of the LEAD1 Institute, which will be held July 22-24, 2019 at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

Six sponsors and LEAD1 are supporting the minority scholarship award, including Kyle Bowlsby (Bowlsby Sports Advisors), David Carnegie (Brandon David), Greg Santore (Odgers Berndtson), Jeff Schemmel (College Sports Solutions), Dan Walters (Buffkin Baker) and Katy Young Staudt (Ventura Partners).

“We couldn’t be more excited to expand our relationship with the sponsors of the minority scholarship award,” said Tom McMillen, President and CEO of the LEAD1 Association. “This unique opportunity will help further the careers of some of the most accomplished individuals in athletics administration. I offer my sincere congratulations to each scholarship recipient and I look forward to seeing them in July.”

The LEAD1 Association annually conducts the Institute, a three-day educational forum where experienced athletics directors teach and share information and know-how with the Institutes’ participants. Typically, these are senior-level FBS executive staff nominated by their universities’ athletics directors to attend the program. The goal of the Institute is to better prepare the participants to ascend into the role of athletics director.

The winners of the scholarships, who were nominated by their institutions, are:

Marquita Armstead is the Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at University of South Florida (USF). Armstead came to USF from Georgia Tech where she was promoted to Director of Compliance during the summer of 2013. Prior to Georgia Tech, Armstead was the Director of Compliance at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga (UTC) for six years. She is a 2005 graduate of Mississippi State, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She also received a master’s of sports administration from her alma mater in 2006 and her MBA from UTC in 2013.

Duane Bailey is the Deputy Athletics Director/CFO at the University of Louisiana. Prior to joining the Ragin Cajuns, Bailey served as the Director of Athletics at NYIT, Associate Vice President of Athletics at the University of New Haven, Deputy Athletics Director at Seton Hall University, and Associate Commissioner at the Atlantic 10 Conference. An alum of St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in Finance, Bailey continued his education at both Adelphi and Long Island University, earning master’s degrees in Athletic Administration and Business Administration, respectively.

Marcus Bowman is in his second year as Senior Associate Athletics Director and Chief Financial Officer at UNLV. He is also the sport administrator for the Runnin’ Rebel basketball program. Bowman came to Las Vegas from the University of Pittsburgh where he was Senior Associate Athletics Director for Sport Administration. He started his career at Pitt in 2006 as Director of Business Operations. Bowman earned his bachelor’s degree from Pitt in 2006 and was a student-athlete on the men’s basketball team. He earned his master’s degree from Pitt in 2010 in Business Administration.

Armani Dawkins serves as the Senior Associate Athletics Director/Chief of Staff at the University of Oklahoma. In this capacity, she advances and advocates directives on behalf of the Vice President and Director of Athletics. Dawkins came to Oklahoma from Holy Cross where she served as the Associate Athletics Director/Student-Athlete Development. Prior to her time at Holy Cross, Dawkins worked at Duke University from 2010 to 2015. She received her bachelor’s degree from UNLV and her master’s degree from George Washington University.

Jocelyn Gates is the Senior Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator at Boston College. In this role, Gates has oversight responsibilities for all student-athlete wellness areas and serves as the departmental Title IX liaison. Prior to BC, Gates spent time at the University of South Florida as Senior Associate Athletics Director/SWA and Duke University as Assistant Director for the Iron Dukes. Gates is a graduate of Howard University where she was a member of the women’s soccer team and received a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She earned her master’s degree from Georgia Southern University.

Raymond Harrison has served as Senior Associate Athletics Director at North Carolina State University since May 2016. He joined the Wolfpack after spending three years at Texas A&M as Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Services. Prior to A&M, Harrison was the Senior Associate Athletics Director at University of South Carolina. He also spent six years at the University of Louisville as Associate Director of Academics. Harrison is a former football student-athlete at the University of Cincinnati where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

Mike Harrity serves as a Senior Associate Athletics Director at the University of Notre Dame where he leads the areas that directly impact the student-athlete experience. He also works closely with the Athletics Advancement team and serves as the sport administrator for the women’s soccer program. Harrity earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Kansas and worked in the KU athletics department, as well as at the University of Minnesota, before joining Notre Dame in December 2011. He published in his first book, Coaching Wisdom, in 2012.

Ariel Pesante is the Associate Athletics Director for Governance & Compliance at University of Massachusetts. He is a member of the department’s executive staff and serves as the sport administrator for the football, men’s basketball, and baseball programs. Prior to UMass, Pesante was the Associate AD for NCAA Education and Compliance at Hofstra University and spent time as the Assistant AD for Administration & Compliance at University of Hartford. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Binghamton University and master’s degree from Delaware State University.

Dr. Eric Wood is the Deputy Athletics Director for Competitive Excellence at the University of Central Florida (UCF). He came to UCF after a seven-year stint at the University of Arkansas where in his final role, he was a member of the Razorbacks’ executive staff overseeing the Office of Student-Athlete Services. Wood is a 1998 graduate of Sacred Heart University where he earned his bachelor’s degree and was a starter on the football team. He completed his master’s degree at Clemson University (2000) and earned his doctorate at the University of Arkansas in 2016.

About the LEAD1 Association: LEAD1 represents the athletics directors of the 130 member universities of the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). Key to the LEAD1 mission are influencing how the rules of college sports are enacted and implemented, advocating for the future of college athletics, and providing various services to our member schools. For more information, please visit www.LEAD1Association.com.