UC Clermont athletic director, teams receive national acclaim

The Cougars have won seven national titles since 2006

University of Cincinnati Clermont College Athletic Director Brian Sullivan has been named Athletic Director of the Year by the United States Collegiate Athletic Association.

Sullivan, who has spearheaded athletics at UC Clermont since 2006, has overseen the addition of soccer and baseball programs, a conference change, new home facilities and standing-room only crowds. The Cougars also have earned seven national titles and celebrated nearly 100 student-athletes receiving national honors under his tenure. Four UC Clermont coaches have been named USCAA Coach of the Year, and Sullivan serves on the conference board of directors.

“We have unbelievable support from the college administration that fuels our success,” Sullivan said. “It creates a trickle-down effect — good teams, good coaches, strong community relationships — without any of those pieces, it wouldn’t work.”

UC Clermont Athletic Director Brian Sullivan

UC Clermont Athletic Director Brian Sullivan

After serving as director of operations for the Cincinnati Cyclones and former minor-league soccer team the Cincinnati Silverbacks, Sullivan, who also coached boys’ soccer at Anderson High School for 13 years, saw a fresh opportunity at UC Clermont. At the time, the college was part of the now-defunct Ohio Regional College Conference (ORCC) and fielded volleyball, basketball, softball and golf teams.

“Athletics were more like club sports at the time,” said Sullivan. “I wanted to take UC Clermont to the next level, to be part of a national organization.”

The same year Sullivan was hired, the Student Activities Center became the on-campus home court for volleyball and basketball, and the Cougars joined the more competitive USCAA.

We have the name recognition now; our coaches go into high schools, and they know UC Clermont. We are getting student-athletes from schools where in the past we wouldn’t. And they want to play for us.

Brian Sullivan UC Clermont athletic director

“That changed everything,” he said.

Suddenly, UC Clermont could compete for — and win — national championships, which attracted a different type of recruit. Since then, the Cougars have claimed titles in men’s basketball (2007), baseball (2013), women’s basketball (2014, 2023), women’s soccer (2018, 2019) and volleyball (2021).

“We have the name recognition now; our coaches go into high schools, and they know UC Clermont,” said Sullivan. “We are now getting student-athletes from schools where in the past we wouldn’t. And they want to play for us.”

Sullivan said the quality of the college’s coaches and student-athletes is also crucial to the college’s more recent success. The ideal recruit is not only strong academically but has a solid character and family foundation. Most UC Clermont student-athletes receive academic financial assistance, and a number have been recruited by higher level teams after playing for the college.

UC Clermont women's basketball team

The UC Clermont women's basketball team celebrates their 2023 national championship.

“I want them to know this isn’t 13th grade,” Sullivan said. “We’re going to treat them like college athletes. Every year we try to upgrade the experience — how our teams travel, the gear they use, filling the stands every home game. You’re part of something bigger. You’re going to leave with a University of Cincinnati degree.”

Learn more about UC Clermont athletics at ucclermont.edu/athletics.

About UC Clermont

UC Clermont College is located in the center of Clermont County on 91 beautiful, wooded acres in Batavia Township. The college is an accredited, open-access institution offering more than 60 programs and degrees. UC Clermont is part of the nationally recognized University of Cincinnati. For more information, call 513-556-5400 or visit www.ucclermont.edu

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