MUTTONTOWN, N.Y. — Hank Foley arrived at NYIT from the University of Missouri, which competes in the Southeastern Conference. He previously had served as a dean at Penn State. And Foley's undergraduate degree came from Providence College.
Foley, who became NYIT's fourth president in June, now wants student-athletes in Old Westbury to have a similar experience to those who competed in athletics at his previous stops.
"I'm really excited about athletics," Foley said Monday, while attending the NYIT Athletics Hall of Fame Enshrinement Dinner at The Woodside Club in Muttontown. "As you've heard, I've been at some pretty good schools for athletics, and I know how important it is to a university, and how important it is to an alumni base, and how important it is to really getting the students fired up about their school. So we're going to work really hard to try to make athletics a part of the crown jewel, if you will, of New York Institute of Technology. I like the kind of student-athletes that we get. I'd like to get more of them. And I think they help to make the university a much better place.
"My vision would be that I'd like our student-athletes to feel like they're D-I student-athletes, and to really feel like we care about them — that what we're doing matters and that they help to carry the banner of NYIT everywhere they go."
Foley told the crowd at Monday's banquet that he is in the process of finding a new director of athletics to succeed Duane Bailey, who accepted a vice president position at the University of New Haven. Foley suggested there will be more to say about that topic in August. The candidates include interim director of athletics Dan Vélez, according to Foley.
Foley has experience hiring an athletic director. He just went through that process a year ago at Missouri.
"I've actually done preliminary interviews with about four or five people who were put together by a guy I knew who helped me recruit Jim Sterk to Mizzou last summer," said Foley, the former interim chancellor and interim athletic director at Missouri. "And I think we've got a really good group of people. And we also have internal candidates to look at. So I'm really excited about that."
Foley also noted that he has revamped the university structure to help NYIT Athletics. The director of athletics now answers directly to him. Athletics previously had been part of Student Affairs.
Earlier Monday, 31 foursomes participated in a golf event at The Woodside Club to benefit NYIT Athletics. Foley lightheartedly suggested next year he may partake in that porition of the annual event.
"I'll go take a few lessons and try to be back here next year and play with you," Foley said.