Northern Illinois University

Sean Frazier
Director of Athletics

Sean Frazier

In his tenth year at the helm of the Northern Illinois University Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, Sean T. Frazier has guided the Huskies to historic milestones competitively, academically and socially, cemented his status as both a national and community leader on diversity and inclusion and led successful fundraising efforts that have transformed the student-athlete experience at NIU. For his efforts in 2021-22 Frazier was named one of five finalists for the Athletic Director of the Year by Sports Business Journal.

May 2017, NIU won the Mid-American Conference’s Fred Jacoby Trophy, presented to the top women’s athletic program in the MAC, for the first time in school history. In 2016, NIU received the NCAA and Minority Opportunities Athletic Association (MOAA) Diversity and Inclusion Award, which recognized and celebrated the initiatives, policies and practices of NIU in embracing diversity and inclusion. For Frazier, whose roots in the topic of racial relations and diversity run deep, the award was especially significant. In 2014, he was honored with the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership of MOAA.

A former football student-athlete at the University of Alabama, Frazier has 25 years of overall experience as a director of athletics at the NCAA Division I, II and III levels, as an administrator at two Division I universities, as a coach and as a student-athlete. Prior to NIU, Frazier spent six years in senior leadership roles at the University of Wisconsin and was promoted to deputy director of athletics in 2011, Frazier’s duties grew to include managing all day-to-day internal and external operations for Badger Athletics and serving as UW’s Deputy AD and Chief of Staff to Director of Athletics Barry Alvarez.

Prior to Wisconsin, Frazier served as Director of Athletics at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., was the Director of Athletics and Recreation at Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y. and led the athletics and recreation department at Division III Manhattanville College in Purchase, N.Y.

Frazier began his administrative career at the University of Maine as an assistant football coach in 1995 and was soon tabbed as the athletic department’s multicultural affairs liaison, where he created programs aimed at fostering diversity. He was named assistant to the athletic director in 1996 and became an assistant athletic director in 1998.

A Long Island, N.Y. native, he played four years of college football at the University of Alabama from 1987-91 and was a member of the 1989 SEC Championship team. He has written numerous papers, presented on topics of diversity, leadership and hiring at national meetings and served on many NCAA committees. Frazier, 50, earned his bachelor’s degree in communication from Alabama, and has a master’s degree in higher education/educational leadership from the University of Maine. He earned a second master’s degree in educational leadership and policy analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is pursuing a doctorate in the same discipline. He and his wife, Rosa, an accomplished lawyer and former law professor, have three children, daughters Marina and Marcella, and son Maximo.