Coffey Named ECAC Katherine Ley Award Winner

Contact: Ben Badua


CENTERVILLE, Mass. - Amherst College Director of Athletics Suzanne Coffey has been named the recipient of the 2012 ECAC Katherine Ley Award.

Established in 1983 for the purpose of honoring a women’s athletics administrator who exemplifies the values and characteristics displayed by Katherine Ley, the award honors someone of demonstrated leadership ability, a proponent of women’s issues and a role model for women coaches and administrators.

Since her arrival in 2006, Coffey has helped guide the nation’s oldest athletic department to an unprecedented level of national prominence. Recording six-consecutive top-four finishes in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup, Amherst has captured six of its eight national team championships during her tenure.

Having won at least one team crown in five of her first six years, student-athletes have also laid claim to 36 individual national championships. The Lord Jeffs have been equally successful at the conference level, having captured 25 NESCAC titles since 2006, including a program record eight in 2011-12.

Building on a liaison program that pairs faculty members with respective teams, Coffey has reaffirmed Amherst’s commitment to the classroom, with the Jeffs consistently ranking among the league’s leaders in All-Academic selections. Of the program’s 27 CoSIDA Academic All-America honorees, 13 have come since 2008, including nine over the last three years.

She has also spearheaded the creation and implementation of Amherst LEADS, a leadership development program that provides a comprehensive and educational view of leadership that can be used both during and after a student-athlete’s experience at Amherst. Designed specifically for the varsity student-athlete, the program features a variety of symposia, workshops, speakers and interactive experiences to educate the college’s student-athletes about becoming strong, ethical and influential leaders.

Under her leadership, the Jeffs’ athletics facilities have also received an upgrade, with the additions of a new turf field, football practice facility and softball field in 2007. Pratt Field, the nation’s third-oldest football playing site, will undergo a similar renovation in 2012-13, that will include a new turf surface, a 15,000-square-foot fieldhouse and eight-lane all weather track, designed to allow Amherst to host championship-level meets for the first time since 1996.

Coffey will be honored at the 2012 Honors Dinner held in conjunction with the ECAC Convention on Sunday, Sept. 30 in Groton, Conn.