The Iona College Gaels went outside the school to hire Eugene Marshall Jr. as their new Athletic Director, replacing Pat Lyons, who left in March to take the AD position at Seton Hall of the Big East.
Brother James Liquori, set to retire as Iona President this summer, made the announcement today commenting, "Gene’s passion, integrity and experience in the field of athletics will serve him well as Iona College’s next Director of Athletics, I’m delighted to have Gene on board as the leader of our athletic department.”
Iona has 21 NCAA Division I athletic teams and comes off a strong season by its flagship men's basketball team, which finished 25-12 and national runner-up in the Collegeinsider.com Tournament.
This past year saw outstanding season by the men's cross country team which finished among the top three nationally and a first-ever individual national championship. Iona has a history of supporting programs such as crew and water polo. The Department has worked through a difficult period in which its popular football program was dropped.
Marshall's prior position was as acting Director of Athletics for the past year at Ramapo College in Mahwah, N.J., after previously holding the position for seven years from 1998-2005.
In between those two stints, he worked as the Deputy Director of Athletics at the United States Military Academy in West Point, NY.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to lead Iona’s athletic department,” said Marshall. “I look forward to helping the coaches, administrative support staff and most importantly the student-athletes continue the College’s excellent academic and athletic tradition.”
At Army, Eugene Marshall worked for Athletic Director Kevin Anderson, who left last fall for the Athletic Director's job at Maryland. For West Point, he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Athletic Department, supervising 25 varsity teams including football, men's and women's basketball, ice hockey and lacrosse.
Among the functions he managed for the Academy were women's athletics, sports supervisors, facilities, operations and event managers, marketing and promotions, logistics, external operations, athletic communications as well as NCAA admissions and compliance issues.
During Marshall's first tenure at Ramapo, a seven-year run as Director of Athletics starting in1998, a period of rebuilding of the athletic program led to six straight years of the total team’s win/loss record of at least 19 games over .500.
His bio reads, "In his final year at Ramapo, 11 out of the 17 Roadrunner athletic programs participated in postseason play, highlighted by an NCAA Regional victory in softball, All-America honors for members of the track and field team, and an appearance in the men's basketball NCAA Elite Eight and Sweet Sixteen."
Eugene Marshall served as head women’s basketball coach for six seasons at Ramapo, where the teams earned an ECAC Division III Metro Tournament semifinal round appearances on three occasions.
Noteworthy under Marshall’s leadership, the student-athlete graduation rate increased from 40% to 75%. He was also involved in the planning and building of the Bill Bradley Sports and Recreation Center, a $25-millon state-of-the-art facility.
Prior to his arrival at Ramapo, Marshall served as athletic director and head women's basketball coach at the College of Staten Island. and prior to that he spent 11 years at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he served as director of athletics and men's basketball coach among a variety of roles.
He received his undergraduate degree in 1981 from Northeastern University, where he was a member of the Huskies' men's basketball team under current UConn Head Coach and Basketball Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun. He later completed his master’s degree in sports leadership.
Jim Calhoun commented on the appointment,"Gene is one of the hardest working individuals and among the classiest guys I have ever had the privilege of coaching. As a former player for me and running partner with me, I know that Gene will do a phenomenal job at Iona and everyone associated with the Gaels should be excited about him becoming a part of their community.”
Marshall has served as President of the Black Coaches Association, noted University of Minnesota coach Tubby Smith,
“I’ve been very impressed with Gene Marshall as a leader and a person. Being a member of the BCA (Black Coaches and Administrators) and him having been the president of the BCA, his leadership is outstanding and I know it will be the same at Iona College.
"Having the professional background that he has, Iona is very fortunate to get someone with such integrity, knowledge, and experience to direct its athletic department.”
A resident of Hackensack, N.J., Marhsall has a son, Jason, who is a third-year assistant coach for the women’s basketball program at West Point. His daughter, Jacqueline, is a freshman with the women’s basketball program at Iona.
Eugene Marshall will be introduced at a press conference at Iona on Wednesday, May 11, at 1 p.m.