The 2014-15 academic year marks the 15th year Marty Scarano is serving as the director of athletics at the University of New Hampshire. During his tenure, Scarano has heightened national exposure for UNH athletics with academics, facility renovations and programmatic advancement being top priorities.
There has been over $12 million in capital improvements since Scarano’s hiring in the summer of 2000. On Jan. 31, 2014, the University announced plans to construct a $25 million athletic complex as part of the campus’ master plan. Expected to open in late 2015, the facility will offer increased and improved seating, state-of-the art broadcast and WiFi capability, concessions, restrooms and a special student section. The original concrete section of the current East Side facility dates to the 1930s. Construction has already begun to take shape with the addition of stadium lights, replacement of the general admission stands and re-orientation of concrete stadium seating and aisle ways. Slated to be completed for the spring of 2015, UNH is building a $1.9 million Student-Athlete Center for Excellence at the Field House for its Division I and Northeast Passage student-athletes, funded entirely on private donations.
Scarano has helped elevate UNH athletics into the collegiate national arena. To accomplish that goal, the University has taken on the task of hosting major NCAA championships. Most recently, New Hampshire was named host of the 2015 Men’s Ice Hockey Northeast Regional at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H., the 2016 Women’s Frozen Four at the Whittemore Center and the 2017 Skiing Championship. Furthermore, UNH will assist the Hockey East Association in the upcoming Men’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four held at the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
The NCAA recognized four University of New Hampshire teams (football, women’s indoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field and men’s soccer) that recorded conference-high Academic Progress Rate scores for the 2013-14 year. The women’s indoor track & field team, which also feted with an NCAA Public Recognition Award for posting a multi-year Academic Progress Rate score in the top 10 percent of its sport.
In the 2014 America East Academic Cup, New Hampshire captured second place for the fourth time in five years, posting a grade point average of 3.20. It marked the highest UNH GPA in the 19-year history of the award. For the fifth consecutive year, the Wildcats had the most student-athletes (114) recognized on the fall Academic Honor Roll. In addition, UNH earned the second-highest percentage (70.4) of student-athletes named to the 2013-14 America East Winter/Spring Academic Honor Roll. New Hampshire had 155 honorees, which represented 72 percent of the student-athletes who competed in those seasons, an improvement of 10 percent from the previous year.
During Scarano’s tenure, UNH teams have made 48 NCAA postseason appearances and captured 18 conference titles. Gymnastics has participated in 13 NCAA tournaments, leading all programs over that span. Men’s ice hockey holds a pair of Hockey East titles and has made 11 trips to the NCAA tournament, including Frozen Four appearances in 2002 and 2003. The football program has qualified for the NCAA FCS postseason for a nation-leading 10 consecutive seasons and advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history in 2013. Women’s ice hockey has seen NCAA action five times with two Frozen Four appearances. The squad also captured consecutive Hockey East Championships from 2006-09. Volleyball made its fourth NCAA appearance in 2013 after capturing conference titles in 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2013. The field hockey team captured its second America East crown in three years and third overall in 2013 en route to its third national tournament appearance. Women’s lacrosse has earned a pair of NCAA berths (2004, 2008), one coming after an America East championship victory in 2004.
Additionally, 24 have won 70 “Coach of the Year” awards during Scarano’s tenure, ranging from conference, regional and national, including head football coach Sean McDonnell garnering the Eddie Robinson National Coach of the Year by The Sports Network in 2005 after a stellar 11-2 campaign.
The Wildcat athletic department has played host to several highly successful NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Northeast Regionals at the Verizon Wireless Arena in 2004, 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013. UNH was host of the NCAA Women’s Ice Hockey Frozen Four at the Whittemore Center in 2002 and 2005. In addition, UNH successfully hosted the 2007 NCAA Skiing Championships in Washington Valley as well as the 2005 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Northeast Regional at the Whittemore Center. The women’s hockey team played in the first outdoor game in the history of NCAA women’s hockey in 2010 at the Sun Life Frozen Fenway game and defeated Northeastern, while the men’s squad played in the 2012 Sun Life Frozen Fenway game against Maine. Football also competed in Colonial Clash games at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., in 2010 and 2011; the Wildcats were victorious on both occasions against the University of Massachusetts.
In the spring of 2013, the artificial turf surface was replaced at Memorial Field, home of the Wildcat field hockey and women’s lacrosse teams. The project had an estimated cost of $850,000. The athletic training room in the UNH Field House was completely renovated over the winter break of the 2012-13 academic year. With a redesigned layout, energy-efficient lighting and state-of-the art equipment, the athletic training room is larger, more comfortable, enjoyable and efficient for student-athletes and staff. In the summer of 2013, a new scoreboard at Bremner Field, home of the UNH men’s and women’s soccer programs at a cost of $20,000.
In 2012, a new scoreboard was
installed at Cowell Stadium, and the football locker room received
a facelift. Changes included a new lighting system while a 55-inch
flat-screen TV and Fathead-designed murals featuring former players
and UNH historical images were added to the walls. A memorial
of Todd Walker was also added in honor of the former Wildcat wide
receiver who suffered an untimely and heroic death in March of
2011. In the summer of 2007, the Cowell Stadium grass field was
replaced with a $1 million FieldTurf synthetic surface.
As part of a $650,000 renovation project in the summer of 2011, the field turf at Bremner Field was replaced with a new surface used by many varsity teams and for student recreational activities. In the fall of 2008, the Paul Sweet Oval renovation was completed to include new surfaces, lighting, painting, infrastructure upgrades and the replacement of windows that existed in the original architecture. The total cost of the project exceeded $500,000. Additionally in 2007, a complete renovation of Lundholm Gymnasium was undertaken. The $600,000 overhaul included a new bleacher system, new scoreboards, competition baskets and other aesthetic enhancements.
In 2007, Scarano was awarded the National Association of College Directors of Athletics (NACDA) AD of the Year for the FCS. Additionally, Scarano was also named the All-American Football Foundation Athletic Director of the Year for FCS football in the Northeast region. Scarano has also been an active member in the leadership of UNH’s three major conferences and was the chair of the executive committees for Atlantic 10 football, Hockey East and America East from 2003 to 2007. He also served as chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and is currently on the America East Executive Council. Most recently, Scarano was a member of the Hockey East restructuring team that successfully recruited Notre Dame and the University of Connecticut to the conference. Outside of athletics, Scarano is in his 11th year on the Board of Corporators at Canterbury Shaker Village, a non-profit museum located in Canterbury, N.H.
Before arriving at the University of New Hampshire, Scarano held the position of Athletics Director at Colorado College from July 1996 through June 2000. During his tenure, Colorado College was ranked among the top 20 Division III programs in the Sears Cup national standings and produced several All-Americans, all-academic award winners and NCAA post-graduate scholarship recipients. Prior to his stay in Colorado Springs, Scarano worked for 13 years at Colgate University, where he served as assistant director of athletics, director of physical education, associate director, and senior associate director.
Scarano, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., is a 1978 graduate of Penn State University, where he started his athletic career as assistant ticket manager and the athletics events manager from 1980-83. Scarano holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental History from Colgate. He and his wife, Cydney, have three children: daughter, Lynden; son, Kyle, and daughter, Corey.