Saint Mary's College of California President James A. Donahue announced on July 6, 2017, the hiring of Mike Matoso as the college's Director of Athletics and Recreation. Matoso is scheduled to officially begin his role on July 19, 2017.
Matoso comes to Saint Mary's after serving as the Director of Athletics at Stanislaus State for the past five years. Prior to Stanislaus, Matoso was the Senior Associate Director of Athletics at the University of San Diego for 13 years.
"We are extremely proud to have Mike Matoso join the College," Donahue said. "He possesses a deep understanding of the higher education landscape of athletics, is an experienced leader in promoting highly competitive athletic programs, and his commitment to the welfare of student-athletes and their academic success resonates strongly with the mission of Saint Mary's. I encourage our entire community to welcome him to the College."
"This is a very exciting day for me and my family, as I accept the Director of Athletics and Recreation position at Saint Mary's College. I took a chance five years ago by leaving the West Coast Conference and taking a Division II Athletic Director job with the hope of one day returning to the conference," Matoso said. "For me personally, this couldn't have played out better as I am a Bay Area native and this campus is very special to me. I cannot thank President Donahue and Pete Kelly, Chair of the Search Committee, enough for this opportunity."
Matoso was introduced at a press conference Thursday, which was attended by media, faculty and staff, followed by a meet and greet with Matoso and his family. Matoso will take over the Gaels' 16 Division I sports programs, with nearly 300 student-athletes which compete in the highly competitive West Coast Conference.
While at Stanislaus State, Matoso led the Warriors to unprecedented success since becoming a Division II institution. In 2015-2016 and 2016-17, 11 of 14 teams competed in the postseason each year. The Warriors captured six conference championships and had 40 student-athletes named All-Americans, including a national player of the year, individual national champion, national academic student-athlete of the year, CCAA scholar-athlete of the year and NCAA Woman of the Year finalist.
After 27 years in Division II, Stanislaus State had its best finishes in the CCAA Commissioner's Cup history under Matoso's direction. The Warriors' success continued with 23 individual CCAA champions, 107 student-athletes named All-Region, 9 Academic All-Americans, 19 All-Region Academic Team members, 2 West Region Players of the Year, and 3 West Region Coaches of the Year.
Under Matoso at Stanislaus State, facility renovations were abundant. The Ed and Bertha Fitzpatrick Arena, Warrior Park, Softball Stadium, Warrior Stadium, Golf short range facility, athletic administration offices, team locker rooms for men's and women's basketball, volleyball, softball, track and field have all seen major improvements, capping a sum total of more than $6.5 million in facility upgrades since his arrival. Private giving increased dramatically since Matoso arrived at Stanislaus and in turn made many of the improvements possible.
Warrior student-athletes excelled in the classroom and in the community under Matoso. In the community, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee led conference efforts in both the annual can drive and Make-a-Wish Foundation.
Prior to Stanislaus State, Matoso was responsible for the daily operations of USD's intercollegiate athletic programs with 17 NCAA Division I teams and 450 student-athletes. He oversaw all athletic facilities, including minor capital projects and capital improvements. He played a key role in developing and planning Fowler Park, a 14-million-dollar baseball facility, which was ranked by Baseball America as one of the top five collegiate facilities in the country. Matoso was pivotal to USD's success in capturing the prestigious WCC Commissioner's Cup trophy for five consecutive years. Before his 13-year experience in building USD's athletic department, Matoso spent the previous four years at the University of Southern California as the football and baseball academic advisor. Prior to USC, he served as the academic advisor to all 18 teams at Cal Poly.
Matoso is a California native. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education (1993) from Cal Poly and earned his Masters of Arts in Education and Counseling (1995) from Cal Poly with academic honors. He was selected as the only representative from USC to attend the prestigious Sports Management Institute program at the University of Notre Dame and University of South Carolina (1998). He was a pitcher for Cal Poly and participated in the Division II College World Series.
Mike and his wife Kelly have three children, Abigail (17), Cole (14), and Brody (10).
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