Women Leaders in College Sports Announces 2019 Administrator of the Year Awards


July 23, 2019

Chanel Barnes
Women Leaders in College Sports
[email protected]

Kansas City, Mo. – Women Leaders in College Sports announced today its 2019 Administrator of the Year Award and Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award recipients.

The recipients will be honored Tuesday, October 15 at the Jostens Administrator of the Year Luncheon at the 2019 Women Leaders National Convention in Phoenix, AZ. Nominated by their peers and selected by the Women Leaders Awards Committee for their service during 2018-2019, the eight recipients are:

  • NCAA Division I FBS: Carla Williams, Director of Athletics, University of Virginia
  • NCAA Division I FCS: Sharon D. Brummell, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Business and Finance, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Woman Administrator, Georgetown University
  • NCAA Division I: Dr. Renae Myles, Senior Associate Athletic Director, Chief Operating Officer and Senior Woman Administrator, Winthrop University
  • NCAA Division II: Karen Stromme, Senior Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator, University of Minnesota Duluth
  • NCAA Division III: Jan Hathorn, Michael F. Walsh Director of Athletics, Chair, Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation Dept., Washington and Lee University
  • Association/Organization: Robin J. Harris, Executive Director, The Ivy League
  • NAIA/NJCAA/CC: Brooke Henze, Athletic Director, Lewis-Clark State College
  • Nell Jackson: Dr. China L. Jude, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration and Senior Woman Administrator, University of Wyoming

"The devotion these outstanding women have to intercollegiate athletics and the advancement of women in our profession is exceptional," says Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports. "We are thrilled to celebrate and award these astounding women for their leadership and service in the industry at the National Convention in Phoenix."

The Administrator of the Year Award is presented to Women Leaders in College Sports members for significant contributions made as an administrator of intercollegiate athletics. This award, recognizing administrative excellence, is presented annually to members in each NCAA division: Division I, FBS, FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA/NJCAA or Conference/Organization.

The Nell Jackson Administrator of the Year Award is presented annually to an athletics administrator who exemplifies the personal qualities and professional accomplishments of Dr. Nell Jackson. This award is given to an individual who demonstrates qualities such as courage, conviction, and perseverance, and who is an advocate for gender equity and diversity. This award honors athletics administrators who are NCAA/Women Leaders in College Sports Institute for Administrative Advancement graduates, and demonstrate vision and outstanding leadership.

View past Women Leaders award winners here.

About the Honorees

Carla Williams was named Virginia’s director of athletics in October of 2017. With a background as a student-athlete, coach and administrator, Williams’ approach to leading Virginia is forward thinking. Her focus is on providing opportunities for student-athletes to maximize their college experience while establishing a culture and support system for the sport programs to compete for championships. Above all, her commitment to academic excellence is unwavering.
Williams’ appointment at Virginia made her the first female African-American athletics director at a Power Five conference institution. At the time, she was the fifth active female athletics director at that level.
Prior to Virginia, Williams served as an athletics administrator at the University of Georgia for 13 years and was named deputy director of athletics in 2015. During Williams’ tenure as an administrator at Georgia, its athletics teams won 16 NCAA team championships and 37 Southeastern Conference titles.
In her role as deputy director of athletics at Georgia, Williams was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department and its $127 million budget. She served as administrator for the Bulldogs’ football and Lady Bulldogs’ women’s basketball programs.
Williams has the unique background of competing, coaching and administering at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics. She was an All-SEC guard on the basketball court, then helped recruit and coach some of the greatest teams in Georgia’s history before moving on to become one of the highest-ranking female administrators in Division I athletics.
Williams began her administrative career at Georgia in 2004. She served as associate athletic director (2004-2008), senior associate athletic director (2008-2011) and executive associate athletic director (2011-2015) before being promoted to deputy director of athletics. Prior to joining the Bulldogs’ staff, Williams was an assistant director of athletics at Vanderbilt (2000-03) and an associate director of athletics (2003-04). 
NCAA and national organization committee membership are a big part of Williams’ resume. She served on the executive committee (2010-2014) for the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics. She was a member of the Southeastern Conference’s executive committee (2009-2011), participated on the NCAA women’s basketball issues committee (2010-2014) and was an executive board member of the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators (2007-2009).
A native of LaGrange, Ga., Williams was a three-year starter for the Lady Bulldogs from 1987-89. She finished her career with 1,115 points, 425 assists and 285 steals. Those tallies ranked No. 10, No. 2 and No. 3 among Georgia’s career leaders at the completion of her career.
Williams was an active member in her community, local schools and church and was on the board of directors for the Athens Area Community Foundation and LLL Community Group. She has served as a committee member for Oconee County School System projects and been involved in the Athens Clarke County Mentor Program.
Williams and her husband, Brian, who held the title of associate professor of public administration & policy in UGA’s School of Public & International Affairs, have three children: daughters, Carmen and Camryn, and a son, Joshua.

Sharon D. Brummell came to the Hilltop in January, 2012 as the senior associate director of athletics for business & finance and was later promoted to senior associate athletics director for business and finance/SWA.

Brummell manages the daily activity of the business office and serves on the athletic director's senior staff. She currently oversees the athletic budget and provides strategic advisement to the athletic director on matters including contracts, revenue agreements, departmental policies and procedures and scholarship support for all 29 sports. Brummell also serves as the administrator for women's basketball, volleyball, softball and women's lacrosse.

Brummell came to Georgetown after nearly 20 years at the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore. In her final six years, she served as an associate director of athletics and the senior woman administrator for the university.

Brummell worked as an accountant at UMES and was the associate athletic director for budgeting and fiscal operations during her time there. While serving as the program's senior woman administrator, she helped shape UMES' gender-equity plans and has been an advocate for women's athletics. Brummell was also the bowling coach at UMES for 14 years and is recognized as one of the most successful coaches in the sport winning three NCAA national championships and one USBC national championship. She is the first coach to have won both championships in the same year.

Brummell was instrumental in the Salisbury, Md., community, spearheading UMES' participation in Relay for Life, breast cancer awareness events and even taking her team to local shelters advocating against domestic violence.

Brummell is an active member of CABMA, NACDA, MOAA, and Women Leaders in College Sports. She served on the NCAA Minority Opportunities and Interests Committee and is a graduate of the 2013 NCAA Pathways Program, an initiative that serves to assist minority and/or women administrators to prepare through education, training and mentorship to become athletic directors. Active on the national scene, she is also the president of CABMA and a member of the NCAA Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee.

Brummell earned her bachelor's of science degree in business administration/finance from Salisbury State University. She and her husband Robert Sr., reside in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.  They have one grown son, Robert.

Dr. Renae Myles has been with Winthrop University since October 2016.  She was hired to the newly created position, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Internal Operations/Chief Operating Officer and is the Senior Woman Administrator. Her athletic administration career spans 21 years with stops at the University of Connecticut, the University of Pittsburgh, San Jose State University, Delaware State University, Southwest Baptist University, and Alabama A&M University. 

Myles is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi where she participated in track & field.  She received her Master’s degree from Northwestern State University Louisiana, and her Doctoral degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She is on the Executive Board of MOAA (Minority Opportunities Athletic Association) and is the chair of the Symposium Committee. Renae is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. as well as several civic and professional organizations and associations.  

Karen Stromme is in her 36th year with the University of Minnesota Duluth athletic department staff and currently serves as senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator, a role she's held since 2004. Stromme, who from January to May 2014 was the Bulldogs' interim athletic director, is also the advisor for the Student Athlete Advisory Committee at UMD (which was awarded the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Cup in 2017-18), a member of Bulldog athletics senior staff and the sport administrator for volleyball and men's and women's basketball.

The winningest coach in Bulldog basketball history, Stromme spent 21 seasons directing the UMD's women program before stepping down in May 2005 to take on a full-time administrative position in the athletics department. Stromme compiled a 440-184 overall record (for a .705 winning percentage) and posted 21 consecutive winning seasons while also guiding the Bulldogs to 12 Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference titles, four of a possible five NSIC Tournament championships, eight NCAA II North Central Regional playoff berths and seven appearances in the NAIA National Tournament.
A native of Duluth and a Duluth Central High School alumnae, Stromme was chair of the NCAA Division II Management Council from January 2014 to January 2016. She has extensive NCAA II committee experience, having previously done time on the Management Council (serving as vice chair in 2013), the Committee on Infractions, the Membership Committee and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, among others.

Stromme, who first joined the Bulldog staff as an assistant women's basketball coach in 1983-84, is a past president of the NAIA Women's Basketball Coaches Association, past chair for the Kodak All-American Team Selection Committee and chairperson of the USA Basketball Team Selection Committee for the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. She also was an assistant coach for Team East at the 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival and was among the official travel party for Team USA, which won the women's basketball gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Stromme is a member of the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame (Class of 2011), the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (Class of 2008) and the St. Olaf College Athletic Hall of Fame (Class of 1994). She and her husband, Gary Holquist (UMD Athletics' Director of Development), make their home in Duluth.

Jan Hathorn begins her 13th year as the Michael F. Walsh Director of Athletics at Washington and Lee University during the 2019-20 school year.  She is the first woman and just the seventh Athletics Director in school history.

Under Hathorn's direction, the Generals have won better than 60 percent of their athletic contests and 97 conference championships.  Additionally, W&L has been awarded the Dan Wooldridge Champions Cup as the top overall athletic program in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference following all 12 of her years as athletic director.

During Hathorn's time as Director of Athletics, W&L has enjoyed some of the best seasons in the history of the school.  In 2018-19, Washington and Lee won a league-record 13 Old Dominion Athletic Conference championships and swept all three of the ODAC's Director's Cups as the top overall athletics program.  In addition, the Generals placed 17th out of 448 Division III schools in the NACDA Director’s Cup standings.

Recent years have also produced numerous Top 50 finishes in the Director’s Cup, while scores of W&L athletes have received All-America and Academic All-America laurels.  During the 2016-17 school year alone, both the women’s swimming and women’s lacrosse teams produced best-ever finishes in NCAA Championship competition.  Swimming placed seventh overall, while lacrosse advanced to the NCAA Final Four.

Hathorn plays an active role within the NCAA and served on the NCAA Management Council from 2011-15.  During this time, she was a part of the Honors Committee, the Postgraduate Scholarship Committee and the Division III Subcommittee for Legislative Relief.  She also served as a panelist for the 2019 NACDA/NADIIIAA summer forum and the 2016 NCAA Inclusion Forum in Indianapolis.

Hathorn began her appointment as no stranger to W&L, having served as the women's lacrosse coach for 19 seasons and as the women's soccer coach for 14 seasons. She had also been an assistant athletic director and the University's Director of Physical Education from 2002-07.

Hathorn arrived at W&L in the fall of 1987, serving as women’s soccer coach from 1987-2000 and women’s lacrosse coach from 1989-2007.  Between the two sports, she earned 11 ODAC Coach of the Year Awards and led the Generals to nine conference titles.  In 2010, she earned the Diane Geppi-Aikens Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in the sport of lacrosse.

Hathorn also coached lacrosse for five years at Denison University, immediately preceding her time in Lexington.  She earned a bachelor of arts in physical education from the State University of New York at Cortland in 1982 and a master of arts in physical education from Ohio State University in 1985.

Hathorn makes her home in Lexington, where she is active in the community.

Robin J. Harris has led the Ivy League to new heights since becoming the Ivy League Council of Presidents' second full-time Executive Director on July 1, 2009. She oversaw the implementation of the Ivy League Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments; guided the League in the creation and development of the Ivy League Network (ILN) and the transition to a ten-year partnership with ESPN; implemented a continuing, broad-based concussion research and prevention initiative; expanded and negotiated the Ivy League’s television coverage agreements; fostered a long-term relationship with JMI Sports to introduce new League-wide sponsorship deals; and focused the League’s communication on core messaging points.
Garnering national success in a broad array of sports, Ivy League member schools are also typically well-represented in the final standings of the NACDA Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, finishing in 2018-19 as the highest ranked conference outside of the Power 5 conferences for the fifth-straight year.

Under Harris’ leadership, the Ivy League has developed and implemented new championship events for men's and women's basketball, women’s rowing, fencing and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

In 2016, The Sports Business Journal (SBJ) selected Harris as a “Game Changer;” a national recognition of selected female sports executives.

Harris came to the Ivy League office after seven years at Ice Miller, LLP, based in Indianapolis. At Ice Miller, she served as senior counsel and co-chair of the Collegiate Sports Practice and worked with the firm’s college and university clients on a variety of matters related to athletics.

Prior to Ice Miller, Harris worked nine years in increasingly responsible roles at the NCAA national office, ending her tenure at the NCAA national office in 2002 as associate chief of staff for Division I.  In that role, she provided advice and guidance to the NCAA president, Executive Committee, Division I Board of Directors, Division I Management Council and other committees in nearly all athletic governance areas, including academic standards, amateurism, championship policies, diversity, gender equity and Title IX, legislative proposals, membership requirements, strategic planning, student-athlete welfare and studies regarding basketball and football concerns. From 1993 -1998, she was the NCAA’s first director for the Committee on Infractions. Harris is or has been a member of numerous professional associations, including the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), Women Leaders in College Sports, National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and National Association of Athletics Compliance (NAAC).

She is the author of several articles on issues related to intercollegiate athletics and has made presentations at numerous NCAA, NACUA, Women Leaders and Division I conferences and seminars.  Her most recent endeavor is a chapter called “Developing Business Deals With Your Core Values” in How to Succeed in Sport Business: Inside Advice on the Path to Success, edited by Rick Horrow.

Harris is a graduate of the Duke University School of Law, where she served as an editor of the Duke Law Journal. Her student note, “Does the NCAA Play Fair? A Due Process Analysis of NCAA Enforcement Regulations” was published in the Duke Law Journal.  She also received a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Duke.

She is married to Max Harris, a native of Washington, Kansas. The couple has two children, twin daughters Alexandra (Alex) and Vanessa.

Brooke Henze is in her third year as athletic director and her 14th year overall in athletic administration at Lewis-Clark State College.

Brooke inherited a strong athletic program with LCSC sending either individuals or teams from 11 sports to an NAIA national championship over a three-year span. She has overseen continued success with the naming of four new coaches, including men’s basketball coach Austin Johnson, who led the Warriors to the National Semifinal of the NAIA Tournament in his first season.

LCSC student-athletes also have excelled in the classroom with 121 student-athletes having a GPA of 3.0 or better during the 2018 fall semester, including 20 with a perfect 3.0 GPA. LCSC’s overall student-athlete GPA is higher than the college’s overall student body GPA.

During her tenure as the athletic director, the college has been honored twice as the NAIA’s Best Championship Host for its work with the Avista NAIA World Series. The 10-team double-elimination tournament has been held at LCSC 28 times, including the last 20 straight. Brooke recently worked out a contract extension with the NAIA that guarantees the tournament will remain at LCSC through 2024.

This past spring, Brooke successfully worked on the college’s acceptance into the Cascade Collegiate Conference. LCSC will transition from the Frontier Conference to the Cascade Collegiate Conference this year and will become a full member of the Cascade Collegiate Conference in 2020.

Brooke was raised in Lewiston and is a 1997 graduate of Lewiston High School. She then went on to play basketball for four season at LCSC where she helped the team qualify for the NAIA National Tournament all four seasons. During her senior year, the Warriors advanced to the NAIA Semifinal and finished with a 33-4 record, which at that time, was a program best. During her four years, LCSC posted a 106-23 record.  Brooke stands 11th on the program’s all-time list for most free throws made with 279.

Brooke graduated from LCSC in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. She went on to obtain a master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Gonzaga University in 2007. Along with overseeing LCSC’s12 varsity sports, Brooke has an instrumental role in fundraising, operations, and event management for LCSC athletics. She has served as director of the LCSC booster club, the Warrior Athletic Association, since 2009.

In 2017, Brooke was honored with the Robert Ish Smith Award from the NAIA Baseball Coaches Executive Committee. The award honors the “unselfish promotion of NAIA baseball” by a baseball coach or an administrator. Last fall, Brooke received the Rising Star Young Alumna Award from the LCSC Alumni Association.

Brooke is married to Mike Henze. They and her son, Parker, reside in Clarkston, Wash.

Dr. China L. Jude assumed the role of Senior Associate Athletics Director for Administration and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Wyoming on Feb. 1, 2018. Jude has a primary leadership role in the management of gender equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives, staff development, and monitoring of the strategic plan and sexual assault violence prevention programming. She also supervises sports medicine, sports performance, nutrition and serves as sport oversight in women’s volleyball and women’s soccer.

Jude currently serves on the NCAA Division I Women’s Soccer Committee and is the President of the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association (MOAA). She is also the Founder of the Women of Color (WoC) Athletic Directors Network, a grassroots group that promotes mentorship, influences policy and engages in advocacy for women of color in senior executive leadership positions in the athletics industry. This autonomous group celebrated its fourth anniversary in June, 2019.
Prior to Wyoming, Jude served as Assistant Vice President and Athletics Director at Queens College from 2011-18. During her time as athletics director, Queens College won seven East Coast Conference Championships and six NCAA Regional Championships.  Queens College teams earned 12 NCAA postseason berths.  Thirteen Queens College head coaches earned Conference Coach of the Year honors and two were named Regional Coaches of the Year.  Over 200 student-athletes earned All-Conference, All-Region and All-America honors.
Prior to her time as Athletics Director at Queens College, Jude was the Athletics Director and Department Chairperson at NCAA Division II member Cheyney University of Pennsylvania from October 2007 to July 2011.  She also brings experience as a former head volleyball coach at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and the University of the District of Columbia.  Jude was a collegiate volleyball player herself at Alabama State University.

In 2015, Jude was named the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletics Administrators (NACWAA) Division II Administrator of the Year.  She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).

A native of Waukegan, Ill., Jude completed her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism from Alabama State in 1994.  She earned a master's degree in sports administration and marketing from the United States Sports Academy in 1996.  Jude completed her doctor of education (Ed.D.) in athletic administration from Northcentral University in 2017.

Jude's family has a rich history of serving in the United States military.  Her son, Tommy Jr., served seven years in the U.S. Army before recently being honorably discharged, and her father was a Navy veteran.  Jude, herself, served in the U.S. Naval Reserves, earning an honorable discharge.  Her mother worked in corporate positions throughout her career.

About the Women Leaders National Convention

The Women Leaders National Convention is the premier conference for women working in intercollegiate athletics. Attended by athletics directors, conference commissioners, coaches, administrators, and staff from all divisions of intercollegiate athletics, this annual gathering provides three days of unparalleled education, leadership training and networking. The 2019 event will be held October 13-15 in Phoenix, Arizona.

About Women Leaders in College Sports

Founded in 1979, Women Leaders in College Sports (formerly NACWAA; womenleadersincollgesports.org) is the only nationally recognized collegiate professional membership organization whose mission is to develop, connect, and advance women leaders working in intercollegiate athletics. More than 3,500 members strong, Women Leaders promotes the growth, leadership, and success of women as athletics administrators, conference commissioners, professional staff, coaches, and student-athletes. Follow Women Leaders on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @WomenLeadersCS.