FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield University President Mark R. Nemec, PhD announced today the hiring of Paul Schlickmann as the institution’s seventh Director of Athletics. Schlickmann is the son of a Fairfield ’62 graduate and was a 4-year letter winner on the basketball team at Trinity College (CT). He spent the previous seven years as the Director of Athletics at Central Connecticut State University and also held senior level positions at Stony Brook University and Yale University.
Dr. Nemec describes Schlickmann as someone who has the right skills and the right values at the right time to lead the Stags.
“Paul’s vision for Fairfield University Athletics combined with his accomplishments as an athletic director and administrator at the Division I level impressed the whole search committee and myself,” said Nemec. “I am confident that he will elevate our varsity athletics programs and build upon the legacy established by Gene Doris as we continue our pursuit of becoming the premier modern Jesuit institution. I would like to welcome Paul, his wife Kristin and their children Mackenna and John to the Fairfield Stags family”.
Schlickmann brings a diverse background in collegiate athletics administration and growth in fundraising to Fairfield. During his seven years at Central, the Blue Devils have achieved unparalleled success in competition, in the classroom and in the community. This success is highlighted by 20 NEC Championships since 2010, the most in any seven year period in the Division I history of the school. Central averaged an APR score of 970 along with seven teams earning perfect single year scores of 1,000. Also, in an effort to develop well-rounded men and women, Blue Devil student-athletes completed over 30,000 hours of community service during his tenure.
“I am honored and thrilled to be chosen as the Director of Athletics at Fairfield University,” said Schlickmann. “I am grateful to President Nemec and the members of the search committee for their confidence in me to lead Stags Athletics to new heights. This is an exceptional opportunity to advance athletics excellence at Fairfield commensurate with its steadfast commitment to all aspects of the educational experience. Fairfield has always had a special place in my heart given my father’s ties as an alumnus. To come full circle and join the institution that espouses the concept of mind, body and spirit and the core values that he has instilled in me is truly special.”
As an athletic director, Schlickmann has built a culture that is fully committed to providing a vibrant learning experience for all student-athletes and has worked tirelessly to increase the resources necessary to compete at the Division I level. He has piloted the development and implementation of a $12 million state of the art, outdoor athletics complex, which is used by every Blue Devil student-athlete. Additionally, he created a fundraising plan that has led to unprecedented success in annual giving that includes a more than threefold increase in annual donors and a 60% increase in annual giving revenue. Under his leadership, athletics endowment has increased by $1 million due in part to seven different endowed gifts. With Schlickmann’s significant success in fundraising, external resources for scholarships, operating budgets, student-athlete support services and facilities have all improved dramatically.
Schlickmann has also made an impact in key external units including marketing, branding and corporate partnerships. Upon his arrival to Central, he led an initiative to introduce a series of new athletic marks and a new Blue Devil mascot. He also oversaw the development of a comprehensive marketing plan to bring added visibility to Central Connecticut. The results included a new athletic department website, enhanced broadcast platforms, and a new ticketing system. Also under his guidance, corporate sponsorship revenue increased by 80%.
Prior to his arrival at Central Connecticut, Schlickmann spent seven years as the Executive Associate Director of Athletics/COO at Stony Brook University. In this role he had oversight of all daily operations of the Seawolves 20 varsity sports. He also spent ten years as a senior administrator at Yale culminating to a role as Associate Athletics Director for Administration and Football Operations.
A native of Worcester, MA, Schlickmann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Trinity College. Additionally, he earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Education/Sport Management from Springfield College.
At Fairfield University, Schlickmann will oversee 20 varsity sports and 450 student-athletes. In competition, the 2016-17 school year was highlighted by MAAC Championship victories and NCAA tournament bids for the women’s volleyball and softball teams. In the classroom, 321 student-athletes achieved a 3.0 GPA or better during the spring semester with 30 Stags earning a perfect 4.0. In the community, student-athletes produced over 1,000 hours of community service and raised over $25,000 for charity.
Schlickmann will be introduced at a press conference in the Kelley Center Presentation Room Monday afternoon at 1:30 pm. Student-athletes, coaches, alumni, university employees, media members and fans are invited to attend. The press conference also will be streamed live on the Fairfield Athletics Facebook page. His first official day in office will be Monday September 11. As previously announced, long-time Director of Athletics Gene Doris will transition to a special advisor role to the President until the conclusion of the calendar year.