Director of Athletics Don Harnum
Following a highly successful eight-year career as Rider's head men's basketball coach, Don Harnum is now finding success while leading the Rider Department of Athletics and the Rider University's 20 NCAA Division I programs, 355 athletes and 63 administrators, coaches and support staff.
In September 2005 Harnum was named interim director of athletics upon the retirement of Curt Blake and following a national search, President Mordechai Rozanski officially named Harnum Rider's new director of athletics in April 2006. "It was difficult to leave the sidelines," Harnum said. "But having been part of a bigger picture for the last few years I felt like I could make a positive contribution to Rider, the athletics program, and most importantly, to the lives of our more than 350 student-athletes."
Under Harnum's guidance, several of Rider's student-athletes annually earn conference or national All-Academic honors. Additionally, Rider student-athletes continue to achieve a higher semester gpa than that of the general student body because of the efforts of the University's academic support personnel and coaches.
Harnum has already orchestrated a number of initiatives, including the development of a new athletics logo unveiled in July 2007. He also led the creation of the new Athletics Hall of Fame display, oversaw renovations to Alumni Gym and the lobby, established the annual Captain's Leadership Seminar, hired Rider's first-ever strength and conditioning coordinator and has increased corporate sponsorships and donor support over the last two years. A few of the most notable facility improvement projects completed since his appointment as director of athletics include major renovations to Alumni Gym and the Maurer Center, specifically in the areas of the swimming and diving team locker rooms and hallway in Maurer, and the creation of a state-of-the-art varsity athletics strength and conditioning center complete with new flooring, central air conditioning, recessed lighting and a sound system. Upgrades to Sonny Pittaro baseball field and the Herb & Joan Young softball field were completed in March 2008. Both facilities now have stadium seating, press boxes and irrigation systems as a result of successful fundraising efforts. In addition, Ben Cohen Field, a turf field with lights which houses the Rider men's and women's soccer and field hockey programs as well as intramural and club sports, was completed in the spring, 2010.
Meanwhile, Harnum is working on the planning, fundraising and design of a new Rider athletics arena and serves as a member of the Mercer County Sports and Entertainment Commission which is heavily involved with Rider and the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) in hosting conference and NCAA events. Under Harnum's direction, Rider and the MAAC hosted the 2006 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship First and Second Rounds and 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championship Trenton Regional at what was then called Sovereign Bank Arena. Rider and the MAAC will come together again in 2013 to host the NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Trenton Regional at that same arena which is now know as the Sun National Bank Center. Additionally, Rider hosted the 2008, 2009 and 2011 MAAC Baseball Championships at Waterfront Park, home of the Trenton Thunder minor league baseball team, and will do so again in 2013. Harnum also had an active role as a tournament director when Rider and the MAAC hosted the 2011 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championship at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. Harnum continues to be very active on the conference level and serves as a member of the MAAC Committee on Athletic Administration and the chair of the MAAC Outdoor Track and Field Committee.
A native of Selingsgrove, Pa., Harnum received his master's degree at Trenton State College where he was a graduate assistant coach. He earned his bachelor's degree at Susquehanna University. Harnum and his wife, Janet, have two children, Abigayle and Lucas.