Simon Gray, who has served as Niagara University’s athletic director since 2014, has been appointed associate vice president for athletics.
As director of athletics, Gray has maintained a keen focus on the student-athlete experience for the nearly 350 student-athletes in 18 Division I sports. He has built a vision within the department that emphasizes excelling in the classroom, in the field of competition, and in service to the community.
Under his leadership, the Purple Eagles have achieved department records in both Graduation Success Rate (95%) and Academic Progress Rate, as well as a record-setting GPA among the collective student-athlete population. Since Gray joined the Niagara University community, the student-athlete cohort has had greater than a 3.0 GPA each year. In this past season alone, the hockey team set a program record and led the conference with 29 Atlantic Hockey All-Academic honors, and a total of 186 student-athletes earned All-Academic honors.
Student-athletes have also been successful in the field of competition. The Purple Eagles captured the MAAC women’s swimming and diving championship this past season, as well as the highest Commissioner's Cup ranking the university has achieved since the 2011-12 season. And student-athletes live the university’s mission throughout the year, working with youth at area schools, serving in local soup kitchens, and volunteering at community organizations throughout the region.
In addition to his work in athletics, Gray is a leader on campus. He serves as an engaged member of the President’s Cabinet and has worked collaboratively with faculty in the university’s five colleges to elevate not only athletics, but the university as a whole. He has also played a critical role on a number of campus working groups and committees.
During Gray’s tenure, the athletics department has set new fundraising records, and he has managed nearly $5 million in campus and athletics facilities enhancements, including those in the Gallagher Center and Dwyer Arena.
A recognized leader within the athletics field, Gray is currently serving as chair of the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee and just completed a year as president of the I-AAA Athletics Directors Association.