Bryan Felt’s run as Saint Peter’s University’s athletic director is coming to an end. He will stay at Saint Peter’s until August 21.
The university announced on Thursday that Felt, who’s served as the Peacocks’ head of athletics for two years, will return to Seton Hall University, his alma mater. Anthony Skevakis, SPU’s vice president for student life and development, will serve as the interim director of athletics.
"The progress we have made as an athletic department these past two years has been tremendous and the future for the Peacocks is extremely bright,” Felt told SPU Athletics in a statement. “Saint Peter's is a special place to me and always will be."
When Felt was tapped as athletic director in 2017, he said it was his goal to improve and enhance the student-athlete experience at the university, which some say he kept his word on.
“It obviously starts at the top -- it starts with the athletic director,” track and field jumper Zymir Gettis told The Pauw Wow last semester. “You’ve seen vast improvements throughout the entire athletics department from women’s basketball to men’s soccer getting their first playoff game in, like, I don’t know how long. The soccer team actually win a game, women’s volleyball been winning games.”
A few months into his position, Felt hired former Olympian John Marshall to run track and field. Two weeks later, he brought in Shaheen Holloway for the men’s basketball team and gave Marc Mitchell his first Division I coaching gig as head coach for the women’s basketball team.
Results were shown on the playing field as some of SPU’s athletic teams experienced their respective program's most successful seasons in recent years; women's soccer recorded their best season in 20 years, women's volleyball tallied the most wins they’ve had in 11 years and men's soccer reached the MAAC playoffs for the first time in eight seasons.
Though the current athletic director is moving on, his efforts to revitalize the university’s athletics program will carry on.
Felt helped create a long-term plan to renovate athletic facilities including soccer, softball and baseball fields and basketball locker rooms. He also added a new varsity weight room and the department's first-ever season ticket plan, which generated a 110 percent increase in ticket revenue and a 40 percent increase in home game attendance.
Felt also helped Saint Peter's stream live content the ESPN3 and ESPN+ platforms, which will begin in the fall of the 2019-20 academic seasons.
In the classroom, while Felt held the reins, SPU’s student-athletes reached a 92 percent NCAA Graduation Success Rate, the highest in program history, and a cumulative grade-point average of 3.16 at the end of the 2018-19 academic year with 45 percent of all student-athletes qualifying for the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Honor Roll.
The university will conduct a national search for its next athletic director.
“He elevated our Division I program,” Saint Peter’s University’s President Eugene Cornacchia told SPU Athletics in a statement. “His outstanding leadership has positioned our student-athletes and our program for future success. We are grateful and wish him the very best in his new role at Seton Hall."