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Bringing A DII Mindset To The Big Chair With Mount St. Mary’s Brad Davis

Guest Brad Davis, Mount St. Mary's University
15:00 min watch


New Mount St. Mary’s Director of Athletics Brad Davis joins ADU’s Steph Garcia Cichosz at the 2023 NACDA Convention on the heels of his announced appointment to the Big Chair, reflecting in real time on his transition from Division II Mercyhurst to the similarly-resourced Division I mid-major Mount St. Mary’s University. Davis discusses the unique-to-DII experiences he encountered during his five years with the Lakers, including hosting the largest number of NCAA championship events among Division II institutions, and how the mindset he subsequently cultivated will make him a more efficient and prepared Division I leader. Davis also shares insight on creating alignment during a presidential transition, connecting with student-athletes and making time for work-life balance.

The conversation is indexed below for efficient viewing (click the time stamp to jump to a specific question/topic).

  • - Are there any DII-specific challenges that you've had to work through at Mercyhurst that will make you a more efficient leader at the DI level?
  • - How do you define "fit" for yourself when considering career moves and how has your definition of fit evolved throughout your career?
  • - How will you gain trust and influence with a new staff?
  • - Similarly, what strategies will you use to get buy-in from key constituents outside the department?
  • - How will you establish alignment with a new president while also preparing for a forthcoming presidential transition and leadership change in the near future?
  • - What are your plans for firing up your most important base - Mount student-athletes?
  • - You've done a lot in your career; what aspect of running an athletic department are you most excited about and what do you still find challenging?
  • - Mercyhurst hosted more NCAA championships than any other DII school; what is the secret to hosting a world-class event?
  • - When it comes to defining fit for your staff, what is it in the interview process that makes you think: "This person needs to be on my team."
  • - How do you reset after those rough days when nothing seems to go right?
  • - What does balance look like for an AD?
  • - What does it look like to transition the rest of your life when you make an AD move - trivial things like your wardrobe and serious things like your mindset?
  • - How do you balance your work at Mercyhurst, your work at the Mount before your official August 1 start date, and a move?