Oakland University selects next athletic director

Oakland University President Ora Hirsch Pescovitz announced at a news conference on July 23 that Steve Waterfield has been appointed director of athletics effective Aug. 9, 2018. Waterfield comes to Oakland after serving as executive associate athletic director for Big Ten Network’s University of Nebraska.

“Steve is a highly experienced and diligent leader and will be a strong advocate for our university, our student-athletes, alumni and all Golden Grizzlies,” Pescovitz said in her statement. “He will work with OU leaders and community partners to strengthen our commitment to student success academically and athletically. His contributions to major universities have positioned him well for continued success here.”

Waterfield will succeed Jeff Konya, who was hired as athletic director in January by Northeastern University. Konya led Oakland Athletics for four years with an annual of $210,000 under an extension signed six months before departing Oakland. Waterfield earned $222,000 a year as executive associate athletic director at Nebraska.

“I am honored and humbled to join the Oakland University family, and I am incredibly grateful to President Pescovitz for her confidence in me,” Waterfield said during the conference. “Together, we will provide a transformative student-athlete experience; we will compete for championships; we will graduate our students; and we will strengthen the connection with the university and with the community. My family and I cannot wait to be a part of an incredible Oakland community and I look forward to getting started.”

Padraic McMeel, who served as interim athletic director following Konya’s departure, is expected to return to his role as senior associate athletic director for external affairs.

Waterfield’s focus will be on the student-athletes and their time at Oakland.

“I firmly believe student-athlete growth and engagement are priorities and I will work to assure our efforts are integrated with campus initiatives and opportunities,” he said.