PROVIDENCE, RI – Johnson & Wales University Associate Dean of Students and Executive Director of Athletics Mel Graf has announced the hiring of Dana Garfield as the next Director of Athletics on the Providence Campus. She is the seventh director of athletics since the institution reinstated athletics in 1994.
Garfield comes to JWU from Mitchell College where she served as Director of Athletics for four years. She managed all facets of the department's 12 NCAA Division III programs. Prior to accepting that role, she was the Mariners' Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator.
"We are very excited for Dana to join the Wildcats team," Graf said. "She brings tremendous experience, passion and dedication that will help elevate our athletics programs in the conference, region and on the national stage. Most importantly, her commitment to academics and the student-athlete experience will leverage athletics as a critical component in the institution's strategy for enrollment, engagement and retention."
During her time at Mitchell, the athletics department's growth and improvement culminated with the Mariners winning two-straight NECC Men's Champions Cup. Domenico Santiago was named the 2019-18 NECC Male Athlete of the Year. Mitchell won four conference championships during Garfield's tenure, including a men's basketball title this season. In spring of 2018, she helped launch the college's $2.8 million GameChanger Athletics Initiative to reconfigure and renovate the athletics facilities.
Garfield joined the Mitchell athletics staff as the Assistant Athletics Director in 2006 and was promoted a year later to Associate Athletics Director. In that role, she oversaw compliance, game operations, scheduling and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
"I am honored and humbled to have been selected as the next Director of Athletics at Johnson & Wales University," Garfield said. "As a Rhode Island resident for more than 20 years, it has been amazing to witness the unprecedented growth of both the institution and the athletics department over the years.
"I am anxiously looking forward to working alongside this impressive group of coaches and administrators to continue to build upon the strong foundation of success. I would like to thank all of the administration, coaches and staff involved in the search process, as their professionalism, candor and deep commitment to JWU was such a compelling factor in my decision."
Her ties to Providence began in the fall of 1997 when she was hired as the head softball coach at Providence College. Garfield recorded 177 wins during her tenure, including back-to-back 30-win seasons. She coached a trio of NFCA All-Region selections as well as 25 Big East Academic Team members and her teams set six school records.
Garfield came to PC after two seasons as an assistant coach at Georgia Southern University. She helped the Eagles win their first Southern Conference title in 1996.
While in Statesboro, she completed a Master of Education degree with an emphasis in counseling. Garfield received a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina in psychology with an emphasis in education
While at South Carolina, Garfield was a four-year letterwinner as both a catcher and outfielder. She was a four-time All-South performer, earning three-straight First-Team honors. She still holds the all-time records for RBIs, walks, slugging percentage, games played and at-bats.
An All-American selection as a senior, Garfield was also named team MVP and given the scholar-athlete award. She was drafted in the 10th round of the Women's Professional Fastpitch League in 1996, but chose to continue her education and pursue her college coaching career.
Garfield resides in West Greenwich, RI and has two children, Addison and Tatum.