Sports Lawyers Association President Allison Rich Named Director of Athletics at UNH

Sports Lawyers Association President Allison Rich Named Director of Athletics at UNH

University of New Hampshire President James W. Dean, Jr. announced earlier this week that Allison Rich, Esq., Ed.D. has been named the University of New Hampshire Director of Athletics. She succeeds Marty Scarano, who announced his retirement Nov. 22, 2021, and will finish his 22nd year this summer. Rich, who brings nearly three decades of collegiate athletics administration experience to Durham, has spent the last nine years at her alma mater, Princeton University, as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics/Senior Woman Administrator.

Rich will be officially introduced in a press conference on Thursday, July 14 (Time, Location TBA). Her start date is Monday, July 25.

“Dr. Rich brings a wealth of collegiate athletics administrative experience spanning large state and small private schools in multiple conferences and in the NCAA rooted in the overall success and well-being of student-athletes,” Dean said. “I look forward to working with her as she builds on the success of our athletics program and continues our strong commitment to academic and athletic excellence among our student-athletes.”

“I am grateful to President Dean along with the Search Committee and Chair Marcel Vernon for having the trust and confidence in me to offer this incredible opportunity to join the University of New Hampshire and lead the Wildcats team,” Rich said. “I am looking forward to working with our incredible staff, and passionate alumni and community members to achieve unprecedented Wildcats success and provide our student-athletes with the most outstanding experience.”

At Princeton, Rich was a member of the executive management team for an NCAA Division I Athletics department that consists of 38 sports and boasts more than 1,000 student-athletes and 200 staff members. She managed, mentored, and provided leadership for all coaches and staff while supervising 12 athletic teams, including the Tigers’ Division I FCS football program. As a licensed attorney, Rich was engaged with Athletics legal issues and related areas, and she also provided oversight for the student-athlete experience in a department that excels nationally while maintaining the highest standards of academic excellence and student-athlete welfare. Her contributions to the Princeton Tiger Performance program propelled student-athletes to success academically, athletically, and socially by developing resources, identifying department core values, and eliminating barriers to physiological and psychological wellness. Further, she demonstrated a commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion serving as a founding member and on the executive committee of Tigers Together, a program devoted to ensuring a sustainable culture of inclusion, mutual respect, and unity for Princeton Athletics and beyond.

Rich is the President of the Sports Lawyers Association (SLA), an international non-profit organization dedicated to the understanding, advancement, and ethical practice of sports law. She has served on the SLA Board of Directors for over 10 years and uses her platform to support professional colleagues in all areas of the industry along with new lawyers and law students looking to break into the field. Some of Rich’s other current leadership and engagement includes the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee Vice Chair, National Sports Law Institute Board of Advisors, and NCAA General Counsel’s Advisory Board.

Rich began her college athletics career at Loyola University Chicago in the position of Policy and Review Coordinator/Compliance and Marketing Assistant. She followed that with a move to the NCAA national office as a Membership Services Representative, where she served as a liaison to NCAA conferences, committees, and the governance structure. She next worked at the University of the Pacific as the Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Affairs and legal counsel for Athletics before serving as the Deputy Director of Athletics/SWA at California State University, Fullerton, with responsibility for all day-to-day operations and strategic planning for the Athletics program.

Rich next advanced to Florida State University as the Senior Associate Director of Athletics for External Affairs/SWA. In that role she created a comprehensive branding, external relations, and communications strategic plan for promoting Seminole Athletics in addition to implementing fundraising, marketing, and sponsorship strategies, creating an outbound ticket sales staff, and negotiating television contracts and media/sponsorship rights deals.

As an athletics consultant for JMI Sports, LLC and Allison Rich Consulting, Rich worked with institutions to review various components of their athletics programs to identify areas of improvement and develop best practices and plans for implementation. Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, legal issues, resource allocation, equity review, and NCAA governance.

Rich graduated from Princeton with a Bachelor of Arts in History, earned her Juris Doctorate degree from the Chicago-Kent College of Law and subsequently received a Doctorate in Educational Administration from the University of the Pacific. She is licensed to practice law, is a qualified arbitrator, and has served as an adjunct professor teaching various collegiate and master’s level courses in law, sports, and higher education.