Dr. Mike Allen, in his eighth year as Catholic
University’s director of athletics, has led the Cardinal
athletic department to soaring heights of success. His performance
was recognized by the school administration with his spring 2009
promotion to associate vice president. The stellar academic and
athletic achievements by CUA’s student-athletes have been
hallmarks of his tenure.
Four Cardinal teams won championships last year, including the field hockey and women’s basketball programs, which captured their first conference titles and advanced to their first NCAA Tournaments. During the spring, the women’s lacrosse team earned its fifth straight conference championship, and the softball team won its first ECAC crown.
In the classroom, CUA produced five Academic All-Americans, seven Academic All-District honorees, 12 Landmark Conference All-Academic Team selections and 130 members of the conference Academic Honor Roll.
These achievements followed the 2008 football team winning the school’s first postseason game in 73 years, and the men’s and women’s soccer teams winning their respective conference championships (2009, 2010 – men; 2009 – women). The men’s basketball team captured conference titles in 2006 and 2007 and qualified for two NCAA Tournaments, while the men’s lacrosse team enjoyed its program-best victory total in 2010. All told, CUA athletic teams have won 12 conference championships under his leadership.
One of Allen’s first major tasks at CUA was moving the Cardinals athletic department into a new conference. So he and six other athletic directors of like-minded educational and athletic philosophies began discussions in the winter of 2005 to form a new league. The Landmark Conference, with the support and guidance of the presidents of each institution, began play in the fall of 2007 with eight members. The conference supports CUA’s academic mission, provides competitive opportunities with similar schools and has expanded the department’s recruiting base throughout the Mid-Atlantic.
During his time at CUA, Allen has increased annual fund-raising through a re-structured “Cardinal Club” campaign and facilitated significant improvements to virtually every athletic facility on campus. Enhancements include lights and a FieldTurf playing surface in Cardinal Stadium, a complete renovation of Talbot Baseball Field, a new softball facility, a new Bermuda grass soccer surface and a re-surfaced gym floor. A campaign to renovate the interior of DuFour Center is underway.
Allen came to CUA after serving as associate athletic director for student services at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., beginning in 2002. Prior to that, he worked for two years as football program director for the Counseling Program of Intercollegiate Athletes at the University of Connecticut. Allen began his professional career in the same program in 1993, serving in various roles supporting student-athletes and coaches.
Allen earned his Ph.D. in the sociology of sport during his time at Connecticut. His doctoral research focused on how athletic team communities bolster the intellectual development of intercollegiate athletes. His master’s degree, also from Connecticut, is in sport management. While receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut Allen played four years of basketball.
Allen and his wife, Beth, live in Silver Spring, Md., with their daughter Maya, 8, and son James, 7.