Q&A with the new Athletic Director Patrick Catullo
By SAVANNAH BOYD
Patrick Catullo has been the Head Women’s Tennis Coach for 14 seasons, with a 253-94 record. In the history of the women’s tennis team, the program has dominated the Capital Athletic Conference and advanced to more NCAA Championships than all but one school in all of NCAA Division III. After serving as the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance for six years, Coach Catullo has been promoted to Interim Athletic Director. This week Coach Catullo was interviewed so UMW students could learn more about him and his role on campus.
Q: Can you describe your journey at UMW?
A: “My experience at Mary Washington has been unique, in that I started as a student-athlete on the men’s tennis team, class of ’95 and then came back to serve as the Head Women’s Tennis Coach in 2004. Recently, I had the honor of being asked to step into the role of Interim Athletic Director. I feel fortunate that I am able to contribute as an administrator to my alma mater, a place where I had an excellent student-athlete experience. My time at Mary Washington in these various roles has helped shape my current focus for the department. I believe student-athletes should focus on four areas; strong academics, being a competitive athlete, integrating into the campus community and having a strong community engagement.”
Q: How do you balance your duties of Head Women’s Tennis Coach and Interim Athletic Director?
A: “I am grateful that my long-time Asst. Coach, Art Canizares, has agreed to serve as the Interim Head Women’s Tennis Coach and will be handling the scheduling, recruiting, and day to day operations of the program so that I can focus on all 27 athletic teams.”
Q: Are there any changes you would like to implement this year?
A: “There are changes that have and will be implemented this year, as we continue to make the athletic department an active contributing partner within our campus community as well as the local community. Some of the changes focus on streamlining our policy and procedures in order to continue to enhance relationships within the department and across campus which will benefit the faculty, staff, and students. Our department will continue to make strategic decisions on what changes need to be made driven by the following; will this change enhance the student-athlete experience, will it integrate our department across campus, and does it support the overall vision of the university.”
Q: Why should prospective student-athletes choose UMW to continue their athletic and academic careers?
A: “Prospective student-athletes should choose UMW because we offer a great combination of academics and commitment to athletics. We have a beautiful campus, exceptional faculty, excellent faculty to student ratio, top tier facilities, great support for the athletic teams and an impressive history of success.”
Q: Is there an athletic department from another school that you try to resemble or share ideas with?
A: “I have always been very involved in serving on committees that include administrators and coaches from other Division III institutions and will continue to look for opportunities to be involved. I think it is very important to stay current on trends in athletics and be open to idea sharing. Of course, I think we have one of the strongest programs and I am very proud of our amazing coaches and players but continue to network as we are always reevaluating and looking for opportunities to improve the student-athlete experience.”
Q: What is your favorite part about your new role as Interim Athletic Director?
A: “My favorite part of working in collegiate athletics is and has always been being a part of the student-athlete experience. I enjoy mentoring our student-athletes and following their journey through their time here. My goal is to provide a positive experience while they are students at UMW and that they continue to build on those experiences as alumni. I also really enjoy working with our talented coaches of all 27 teams. Our coaches are extremely committed and work hard each day to support the student-athletes and build competitive programs.”
Q: What do you hope to accomplish as UMW’s Athletic Director?
A: “As a department, we continue to focus on recruiting and retaining academic, athletic, and diverse students that are successful in the classroom and can compete in a strong Division III athletic program. My goal is to support our teams and our coaches as they strive to achieve competitive excellence in conference and post-season play.”
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Patrick Catullo’s teams have dominated the Capital Athletic Conference and advanced to more NCAA Championships than all but one school in all of NCAA Division III. This fact should have been attributed to the entire history of the women’s tennis team including under previous coaches. The article has since been corrected.