Dean O'Keefe, a former student-athlete at Stonehill and the first graduate to lead the athletic department, is in his first year as Director of Athletics at the College. O'Keefe oversees Stonehill's 20 varsity athletic programs that compete at the NCAA Division II level in the Northeast-10 Conference as well as the College's Department of Recreational Sports.
“I am tremendously honored and excited to rejoin the Stonehill family,” O’Keefe said upon his hiring in June 2015. “I sincerely appreciate this opportunity provided by Father John Denning, Pauline Dobrowski and the entire search committee. I look forward to serving the Stonehill community and working with the talented and dedicated students, coaches, faculty, staff and alumni to further our institutional goals and support our students in pursuit of athletic and academic excellence.”
O’Keefe returns to Stonehill after seven years within the leadership of the athletic department at fellow Northeast-10 Conference member Merrimack College. O’Keefe will oversee Stonehill’s varsity athletic program and recreational sports and is the first alumnus to hold the position of athletic director.
O’Keefe served the Merrimack athletic department as its senior associate director of athletics, excluding the 2012-13 academic year when he was appointed interim director of athletics. He was the day-to-day director of all department operations, including budget management, revenue generation, scholarship allocation, marketing and facilities. O’Keefe had administrative oversight of 15 intercollegiate sports. He created and implemented a strategic plan to launch seven new intercollegiate sports programs: women’s golf, swimming, men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and women’s rowing. O’Keefe also built a new strategic revenue and athletic branding plan and successfully transitioned club sports direct responsibility at the College from student involvement to the athletics department.
In his year as interim director of athletics, O’Keefe had responsibility for all facets of Merrimack’s 22 NCAA Division II, one Division I, and ten club sports organizations. He worked collaboratively with the Office for Civil Rights to construct and implement a Title IX compliance strategy to expand female student-athlete opportunities. He led the athletic oversight of an 83,000-square foot athletic complex expansion project and also designed and implemented a new athletic scholarship model to elevate the student-athlete experience.
O’Keefe has been active within both the Northeast-10 and Hockey East, working with the NE-10 Committee on Sports Administration and Hall of Fame Committee as well as the Hockey East Executive Committee, serving as chairperson in 2013-14. He was an adjunct professor in the School of Business at Merrimack and has also served on the College’s Student Code of Conduct Review Committee, Enrollment Management Retention Committee, and Commencement Committee.
Prior to entering into collegiate athletics, O’Keefe worked six years at the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts, as the vice president of marketing and sales. He also spent six years at Six Flags of New England as Director of Marketing, Senior Marketing Manager, and Promotions Manager. O’Keefe worked for the 1996 Olympic Soccer Organizing Committee, World Cup USA in 1994, and interned at the NBA in Corporate Communications.
O’Keefe earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stonehill in American Studies and was a four year starter with the men’s soccer program. He was part of the program’s 1990 and 1991 Northeast-10 Championship teams and earned NE-10 All-Academic Team honors. O’Keefe received his Master of Arts in education, with a sport management concentration, from the University of Connecticut in 1996.
O’Keefe and his wife, Candace, a 1993 Stonehill graduate, have two children, Siobhan (14) and Seamus (11), and currently reside in West Newbury, Massachusetts.