Erin McDermott as director of athletics and recreation at the University of Chicago provides strategic leadership for athletics and recreational sport and fitness programs for the University community. She oversees 20 intercollegiate sports, more than 40 sport clubs, an intramural sports program with thousands of student participants annually, a robust fitness program, and facilities.
Since McDermott's arrival in July 2013, the University of Chicago Maroons have captured 17 UAA championships, seven NCAA individual event championships, and six top-20 finishes in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings among 450 NCAA Division III institutions. In addition, 14 Maroon student-athletes have been selected as Collegiate Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-Americans, considered to be the most prestigious academic award in collegiate athletics.
UChicago recorded its highest finish ever in the annual Learfield rankings, earning ninth place at the conclusion of the 2018-19 academic year. McDermott was named one of 28 winners of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Under Armour AD of the Year award in March 2019. The ADOY award highlights the efforts of athletics directors at all levels for their commitment and positive contributions to student-athletes, campuses, and their surrounding communities.
Under McDermott's leadership, UChicago Athletics & Recreation has reached several major milestones. Women's lacrosse was added as the school's 20th varsity sport. UChicago entered its first ever department-wide apparel agreement with Adidas, and the department underwent a full identity rebrand of its name and official logos. In recent years, McDermott oversaw the first ever Athletics & Recreation Strategic Space Planning study. The Friends of Maroon Athletics annual giving society was also launched to enrich and enhance student-athlete experiences.
Prior to joining the University of Chicago, McDermott served as Deputy Director of Athletics at Princeton University where she oversaw internal operations for 38 intercollegiate sports. She has also worked at Columbia University.
McDermott has served on several national committees including: the Executive Committee of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA) and the Board of Directors for the Women Leaders in College Sports. She is also a member of NACDA.
A senior captain of the women's basketball team and winner of the school's senior scholar-athlete award, McDermott earned her bachelor of business administration degree in International Business from Hofstra University, and her master's degree in Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.