Student-Athlete Development

UNH Athletic Department
Student Athlete Development

      Cathy Coakley
Coordinator, Student Athlete Development
University of New Hampshire
145 Main St. Durham , NH 03824
603-862-4051 -





An Overview:

The office of Student Athlete Development exists to assist UNH student-athletes in learning and perfecting skills necessary to be successful in the classroom, on the playing field, in the university and seacoast community and in life-long endeavors. We coordinate comprehensive, sequential educational programs that enhance personal welfare and growth. In so doing, we utilize the expertise and services of many departments and organizations on campus. Included in these programs are: Health (substance use/abuse, sexually responsible behavior, sport-specific nutrition), Hazing, Diversity and Inclusion (gender, ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation), Career Planning and Preparation, Financial Responsibility, Leadership and Community Service.

Student Athlete Advisory Committee: SAAC
This is a leadership group, selected by coaches and teammates, that acts as liaison between the athletic administration and student-athletes. All teams were represented this year.

The purpose of SAAC:

  • To provide communication and feedback to the athletic administration regarding student-athletes' concerns, policies and procedures.
  • To disseminate information from the administration, campus organizations and the conference to their coaches and teammates.
  • To promote UNH Athletics in a positive way across campus, in Durham and throughout the seacoast area.
  • To build “community” within the Athletic Department by involving all teams in activities, events and educational programs.
  • To be a voice in the America East Conference and NCAA regarding legislation, policy and community outreach.
  • To increase student body, faculty and staff attendance at athletic events by increasing athlete visibility and involvement in campus activities.
  • To organize community service projects that involve all teams, collectively and individually.


SAAC Officers: 2014-2015


Tim Johnson

Harry Quast
Men's Ice Hockey

Sara Carlson
Women's Ice Hockey


Vice President:
Will Meyer
Men's Skiing

Carlie Tarbell
Field Hockey



Wildcat Mentors- Student-athletes serve as Big Brother/ Big Sisters in a mentoring program with children from Oyster River Junior High School. The goal of the program is to provide a path towards self-esteem leading to high school graduation. For more information about Wildcat Mentors, please click here.

Career Planning Night- for juniors and seniors to meet alumni and business people. The evening was a series of workshops, discussion and networking.  

Read Across America- Created by the National Education Association (NEA), Read Across America is an initative on advancing literacy throughout public education. Groups of student-athletes visit local elementary and middle schools to read and facilitate discussion on the importance of education and staying in school. For more information about Read Across America, please click here.

Alternative Spring Break-Student-athletes traveled to New Orleans and West Virginia to assist in community rebuilding.
Athletes Supporting Athletes- Teams attend the competitions of other UNH teams, to foster support, encouragement and friendship among athletes and the student body.  
Tunnel Restoration Project- SAAC and UNH athletes are teamed up to paint and add graphics to the Main Street tunnel. The video to the right shows the before and after of the Main Street tunnel.
Holiday Food and Toy Drives- Each holiday season, cases of food are delivered to the UNH food pantry and boxes of toys delivered to Toys for Tots.   Soles 4 Souls Shoe Collection-Over 3,900 pairs of donated shoes have been shipped to people in need in the U.S. and abroad.
Hoops for Hunger- Over 120 students from across the UNH campus joined our student-athletes to compete in a 3-on-3 basketball tournament to raise money and contribute canned/box food  items for the local Cornucopia Food Pantry.   Special Olympics
Every year, UNH student-athletes come out to greet other athletes from around NH in the annual Summer Games.
Pease Greeters- All teams come to Pease International Tradeport to welcome soldiers back home. Click here to learn more.
  Bone Marrow Testing Drive
Coach Sean McDonnell and the wildcats football team host the annual bone marrow testing drive.


























































Student-Athlete Development …Community Service Outreach ... The Year in Review
Community Service Projects and Activities: all teams involved

Football Team

  • Bone Marrow Drive

Gymnastics Team

  • Relay For Life
  • Parents Night Out
  • Weekly gymnastics classes for youngsters

Women's Basketball Team

  • St. Thomas More Yard Sale
  • Mast Way Elementary School After-School Activities

Men's Basketball Team

  • St. Thomas More Yard Sale
  • February Vacation Youth Basketball Clinic

Lacrosse Team

  • Visits to The Inn at Sprucewood
  • Cats for Cure

 Volleyball Team

  • Special Olympics
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Volley for Holly

Men's & Women's Ice Hockey Teams

  • Bobcat Bolt
  • St. Thomas More Yard Sale

Men's Ice Hockey

  • Maharimet Elementary School
  • Construction of Nature Trail

Field Hockey Team

  • Bobcat Bolt
  • Volunteer at Northeast Passage
  • Trash  4 Treasure

Swimming & Diving Team

  • Doe Farm clean-up

Men's Soccer Team

  • Youth clinics/Soles for Souls
  • Route 4 clean-up


Middle School Field Trips: Twenty athletes, representing most of our teams, hosted and led tours of the athletic facilities, supervised games and contests, conducted discussion on “commitment” and teamwork.  (estimated 50 hours)


Note: Collective team involvement, plus special projects by individual teams, exceeded 6,000 community service hours for 2013-14.

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