|Title:||Director of Intercollegiate Athletics|
Passion for and loyalty to St. Bonaventure were among the themes
newly-appointed athletics director Steve Watson emphasized during
his introductory press conference on Dec. 13, 2006.
"The one thing that really drew me to St. Bonaventure more than anything else was the passion people have for athletics here and the loyalty that they've shown over the years. (Athletics) are important. People care. People are loyal and they've stuck through things, good and bad.
"This is home. I grew up here. My first memories are in the Reilly Center. It's in my heart ... I'm passionate about this place."
"Building relationships is what I think this job is all about. It's relationships on campus, relationships with alumni, relationships in the community, student-athletes and coaches," Watson said. "This (athletic) department is not going to be able to survive without the support and help of everyone. We need support, we need help ... the only way to do that is to build relationships."
Since joining the St. Bonaventure family, Watson has made his mark on campus in a short period of time. In 2007, Watson hired the 19th men's basketball coach in Mark Schmidt and just a few months later organized the construction on what is now "Bob Lanier Court at the Reilly Center." Recently, Watson has organized several upgrades to the RC, including the renovation of the men's basketball locker room.
Watson has also made an immediate impact across campus, serving on several committees within the St. Bonaventure community, including the Senior Management Council and the Athletics Hall of Fame Committee. Watson recently served as the Chair of the University campaign for the United Way and is currently the Co-Chair of the United Way of Cattaraugus County.
Prior to his arrival on the southwestern New York campus, Watson, 43, was the associate athletics director at Eastern Michigan since 2002. Before that appointment, he was the assistant athletics director for facilities and operations at Eastern Michigan from July 2001 to August 2002. Prior to his stint with the Eagles, Watson worked at the University of Dayton from 1999-2001 as director of marketing and promotions; and at the University of Georgia as a marketing assistant from 1998-1999.
Among his professional accomplishments, Watson helped quadruple corporate sponsorships during his tenure at Dayton and enjoyed a 95 percent success rate in retaining corporate sponsors there; was responsible for administrative oversight for 12 of Eastern Michigan's 21 sports programs; and led a new external operations leadership group that coordinated media and financial support programs for EMU.
As a collegiate student-athlete, Watson played basketball at Rutgers for two seasons before transferring to Bowling Green, where he also played basketball and earned a bachelor's degree in interpersonal and public communications in 1990.
Watson earned a master's degree in sports administration from Ohio University in 1998. After college, the 6-foot-8 forward spent six years playing professional basketball in Europe and Asia.
Watson, grew up in Franklinville, N.Y., and graduated from Archbishop Walsh High School in Olean. Watson's late father, Dr. John Watson, taught in St. Bonaventure's School of Business since 1975 and served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs. He served as the dean of the School of Business until his passing in 2011. His mother, Suzanne, has been a computer science lecturer at Bonaventure since 2001.
Watson and his wife, Ann, reside in Allegany and have three children: Abby, Allison and Jackson.