Mike Howard was recently named the new director of athletics at Plattsburgh State, and many are looking forward to him joining the PSUC team.
Howard has coached for 30 years and has served as associate athletic director at St. Lawrence University for 17 years. He will be joining the staff in Memorial Hall this June, bringing his experience in sports and athletics to PSUC. Howard will work closely with coaches and student athletes to ensure that the student athletes continue to be successful in academia and on their sports teams.
“I’ve always followed Plattsburgh Cardinal Sports as a kid and been a fan,” he said. “I’ve always liked the college.”
Howard grew up in Saranac Lake, New York, and as a child, he attended many games at PSUC and showed great interest in the sports teams. He played many sports, like basketball, ice hockey, baseball, football and ran track. His track and basketball career continued in high school, but for college he chose track because he was more skilled at it. Howard completed his undergraduate degree and began coaching at St. Lawrence University, and began his career in coaching there.
“I’ve been looking to take the next step to becoming a director of athletics, and I wanted it to be at a college that has success (and) that I also enjoy,” Howard said. “When I saw the position open up, I was excited. It’s the best of both worlds.”
Sports have always been a part of Howard’s life, including coaching his sons’ pee-wee lacrosse and hockey teams.
As the director of athletics, his job will be to work with the coaching staff and help them have a successful program. He will work closely under Vice President of Student Affairs Bryan Hartman.
“Many here at Plattsburgh State are excited for Mike to join our team,” Hartman said. “His experience can help overcome some current challenges and build upon our current success. There’s a lot of excitement about him joining us.”
PSUC Fitness Center Director Matthew Salvatore said the fitness center in Memorial Hall is one of those challenges, as it is “oversubscribed and undersized.” Many people in the campus community make use of the resources in Memorial Hall, including the fitness center.
Because student athletes need to stay in their best shape to perform well in games, and other students want to maintain physical fitness, more space is needed for all. While there is a lot of machinery available in the gym, if all of the sports teams and other students want to work out at the same time, there wouldn’t be enough room.
“The fitness center expansion is a main priority to upgrade,” Hartman said. “The field house is also something we are looking at. The track and field team hasn’t had a home meet in 20 years due to issues with the locker rooms and drainage issues.”
Howard hopes to collaborate with the fitness center and help them on this expansion to help athletes and other students.
Fitness is important to him. He runs every day to keep his mind and body in shape. He calls it “his stress reliever.”
Howard looks forward to working with people and building strong relationships with the student athletes and the coaches.
“I’m excited to be joining the team at PSUC,” Howard said. “Sports is my passion, so I am glad to be doing what I love at a school I have always loved.”
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