Northeastern University has named Jeffrey Konya as its next director of athletics and recreation. Konya has more than two decades of experience in college athletics, most recently as director of athletics at Oakland University, and was a 2017 recipient of the Under Armour NACDA Athletics Director of the Year award.
He succeeds Peter Roby, who will retire after more than a decade as the university’s athletic director.
“Jeff Konya is a proven leader who has the passion and the vision to drive our athletic programs to new levels of success,” said Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun. “When I met with Jeff during the search process, I was immediately struck by his energy, his entrepreneurial spirit, and the innovation that has defined his career. These are Northeastern values. And in Jeff, we found someone who shares those values.”
At Northeastern, Konya will oversee the university’s 18-sport, NCAA Division I athletic program, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association, Hockey East Association, and Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges. In addition, Konya will direct Campus Recreation, which offers more than 40 club and 30 intramural sports teams, as well as a wealth of physical education opportunities for Northeastern students.
“Northeastern is a university with limitless potential,” Konya said. “I am humbled by this opportunity and I look forward to working with the talented and committed coaches, student-athletes, and staff. We will remain committed to a high standard of student-athlete success, which has been a hallmark of this department, and we will unleash the full potential of this athletic department to garner national recognition and to match the unprecedented trajectory of the university.”
Under Konya’s leadership, Oakland’s athletic teams have achieved unprecedented success in both competition and the classroom. The university has won the Horizon League’s McCafferty Trophy, representative of the league’s all-sport champion, each of the past three years, and has amassed 22 Horizon League championships since 2014, including a men’s basketball title in 2017.
During his tenure at Oakland, which began in 2014, the university’s student-athletes have also excelled in the classroom. Oakland has led the Horizon League in Academic All-League and Honor Roll selections over the past eight semesters and student-athletes posted a record 3.30 collective grade point average in 2017.
Konya also has spurred innovation across the athletic department at Oakland. Under his direction, the department increased external financial support by 60 percent and sponsorship support by 90 percent, introduced new digital media packages for fans, achieved substantial men’s basketball game attendance increases and set new ticket revenue records, and launched a branded all-sports rivalry with the University of Detroit-Mercy, called the Metro Series. The Rochester Area Chamber recognized the athletic department with its Innovative Culture award in 2016.
In addition to his duties at Oakland, Konya serves as chair of the Horizon League Executive Council and is a member of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
Prior to Oakland, Konya was director of athletics at California State University, Bakersfield, a member of the NCAA Division I Western Athletic Conference. During his tenure, the men’s and women’s basketball programs both earned postseason bids and baseball twice earned a top-25 national ranking. In the classroom, CSU Bakersfield’s volleyball and men’s basketball teams earned perfect NCAA Academic Progress Rate scores, a measure of student-athlete academic performance.
At Bakersfield, Konya spearheaded fundraising efforts for multi-million-dollar facility additions and improvements. He also orchestrated a rebranding of the athletic department and, under his direction, the university’s athletic marketing team was named a NACMA Division I Marketing Team of the Year finalist.
Konya also served as director of athletics at Northeastern State University, an NCAA Division II member, where he enacted a plan for an all-sports conference change and increased donor engagement by more than 30 percent.
He also was senior associate athletic director at Southern Methodist University, where he acted as sport administrator for the men’s and women’s basketball programs, supervised all marketing efforts and game-day activities, and managed NCAA compliance. During his SMU tenure, the men’s basketball team won the Conference USA tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament.
Konya began his athletic administration career in 1996 at the University of Iowa, and worked in positions of increasing responsibility at the University of South Dakota, Bucknell University, the University of Texas San Antonio, and the University of Memphis, before joining SMU.
Konya earned a bachelor’s degree in politics from Princeton University, where he was a member of the football team, and a juris doctor with honors from the University of Iowa College of Law.
He will begin his tenure at Northeastern on Feb. 1.