University of Louisiana at Monroe Chief Administrative Officer Scott McDonald has been named to the position of Interim Director of Athletics. The announcement came by ULM President Dr. Nick J Bruno on Tuesday September 4.
Being an athlete himself, McDonald was excited when he got the announcement.
"I was a student-athlete here, I came in Fall of '79 and graduated in 1983 and been involved with the programs in various different capacities since playing here and this is just a really really exciting time for me and my family"
The three-year letterman played outfield for ULM and was a member of the 1983 team that brought the University its first Southland Conference Championship.
When asked about his interim spot and what he hopes to accomplish, McDonald was very optimistic and ready to help any way he could.
"I stepped into a situation where we were rolling right into the football season," said McDonald. "Football season takes up a lot of time but also volleyball season, soccer season, and all the other sports beginning practice as they prepare for their seasons, so there is a lot of activity going on selling tickets, raising money and all those sorts of things. So, I just stepped in and try to support those people, listen and understand what we were trying to get accomplished, support them where I could and enhance some of those efforts"
The new director knows the University has issues to sort out in the athletics department, including the lack of attendence and fundraising for sporting events. McDonald thinks the solutions starts with the community.
"I think we need to develop outreach programs that get people to understand why it's important. We have to get out into the community and get them to understand that supporting this University and what it does for the community from a cultural standpoint is important." He continued, " I think people need to understand what an important role they play there."
This is a lot easier said than done though. When asked how he could make this vision a reality, McDonald had a plan.
"We need to go to these community groups, in other words don't wait for them to come to us." McDonald said, "We're inviting groups in, we have a big youth day planned on September 22 for the game against Troy. I'm talking about football groups, soccer groups, Church groups and a lot of folks that we're reaching through the youth in this community. We need to get them and help them to bring their parents in and create that crowd and fan experience we're trying to make at our ball games."
Earning a Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing in 1983 from NLU and completing the LSU Graduate School of Banking program in 2010, McDonald has been an active member of the University for years.
After graduation, he spent 33 years serving in the financial services industry, including his final 12 years serving as Vice President of Ouachita Independent Bank and Bancorp South. He has also served as the former president of the ULM “L” Club as well as the Warhawk Club. McDonald continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the ULM Facilities Corporation as well. With all of these accomplishments, it is safe to say that he has a lot to personally bring to Warhawk Athletics.
"You know, each day I try to think about what am I going to do the impact this day so that this place is just a little bit better then when I found it." He continued, "I know that I can positively impact the process today and that's what I'm going to do. I want to put plans in place as we go forward to provide the fan experience that our community deserves and to provide the student-athlete experience that our athletes deserve and certainly support our coaches and staff as they try to advance their careers."
With former Athletic Director, Nick Floyd announcing his decision to step down form the position on August 20, the request for McDonald to step in didn’t come as much of a surprise. Floyd made his announcement stating that he’d be stepping down in order to focus on managing a physical health issue. He will continue to hold an administrative role with the University affective through December 31, 2018.