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Why I Chose To Go From DI to DIII: UChicago's McDermott & St. Thomas (MN)'s Esten

Guest Erin McDermott, University of Chicago; Phil Esten, University of St. Thomas; Michael Cross, Athlete Viewpoint
20:27 min watch


Directors of Athletics, Erin McDermott of the University of Chicago and Phil Esten of the University of St. Thomas (MN) chat with AthleticDirectorU on their respective moves from DI Deputy ADs to the DIII AD chair. The two revisit their assessments of fit while contemplating the working relationships with their respective presidents. The conversation ends with advice for those who may be considering a similar path. The discussion is moderated by Athlete Viewpoint Co-Founder, Michael Cross.


(Click the timestamp below to jump to a specific question/topic)

  • - What was your motivation to move from a Deputy AD at Division I to become the AD at a Division III institution?
  • - What were some of your contemplation points when considering the AD opportunity?
  • - How did you assess institutional fit? (McDermott)
  • - What made you sure about the working relationship with the president? (Esten)
  • - What have you encountered during your time at Division III, that may have been a misconception before you took the job?
  • - How did you assess the environment created by your predecessor? (Esten)
  • - What have you done during your tenure to improve the athletics environment at your institution? (McDermott)
  • - What are your current experiences preparing you for later in your career, inside or outside of athletics?
  • - What advice would you have for someone who may be considering a similar career move?