Courtesy: St. Bonaventure Athletics
Longtime St. Bonaventure men’s swimming coach Sean McNamee has been named Assistant Athletics Director for Advancement. He will leave the coaching role he has held for the past 26 years, taking over his new duties immediately.
McNamee will be responsible for all fundraising initiatives within the athletics department, from the Bonnies Athletic Fund and the Sixth Man Club to scholarships and special projects. All of McNamee’s work will support the strategic goals of the university and the Athletics Department.
“I am extremely excited to take on this new challenge and want to thank those within the process that have made this opportunity possible,” said McNamee. “Coaching permits you to forge relationships with your student-athletes that last a lifetime. I am immeasurably grateful for that opportunity over the past 26 years, but I really look forward to watching the program continue to thrive with me as a fan. I am thrilled to help a special place in a greater capacity. Our family has been involved with SBU for the past 70 years and it means so much to us. St. Bonaventure is a great story and I am thrilled to be a vehicle to assist in spreading it. The passion of our supporters is infectious. Being a nationally recognized Athletics Department in a family-oriented setting is something special.”
The McNamee legacy at St. Bonaventure is well-known. McNamee’s father, John, was a physical education professor as well as the founder of the men’s swimming program that his son ultimately inherited.
A native of Olean, McNamee graduated from St. Bonaventure in 1986. He began his coaching career at West Virginia University as a graduate assistant, then became the head coach at Potsdam before returning to St. Bonaventure as head coach in 1992. He replaced his brother Kevin, who left to become an administrator at George Mason University.
Over his tenure, McNamee guided the Bonnies to five Atlantic 10 Conference championships and 15 runner-up finishes. He was named the A-10 Coach of the Year six times. A total of 74 of his swimmers won gold medals at the A-10 championship meet and four of those earned A-10 Performer of the Meet honors.
The move will be McNamee’s first administrative position, although he has been involved in a number of committees and volunteer groups behind the scenes both at St. Bonaventure and in the local community.
“I am so excited about Sean moving into the fundraising role,” said Director of Athletics Tim Kenney. “He has the ultimate respect of our coaches, staff and alumni for what he has done with the swim program over the last 26 years. While I understand there will be some apprehension from the current swimmers, we are working diligently to bring an outstanding coach to St. Bonaventure to continue the momentum and legacy Sean has fostered. At the same time, I am confident that he will be outstanding in his new role. His passion for St. Bonaventure will continue to drive his work and help us create momentum with all we are doing and plan to do to make this the best possible experience for our 350-plus student-athletes.”