May 16, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA -The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) recognized Fayetteville State University Athletics Director Dr. Edward McLean as the recipient of the 2013-14 Jeanette E. Lee Award during its annual Spring Meeting. The honor is a special recognition of outstanding service within the CIAA.
According to the CIAA, McLean is the only Athletics Director to have completed 20 consecutive years in the conference in recent history.
"Twenty years marks a significant milestone for an Athletics Director who has contributed not only to two great institutions, but also to the CIAA conference. Dr. McLean's leadership, mentorship and selfless contributions have made a difference in positively impacting administrators, coaches and student-athletes in the CIAA," said Jacquie McWilliams, CIAA Commissioner.
In August 1993, Dr. Edward McLean made a career move that would result in longevity and success that has encompassed two decades. He joined both the Central Intercollegiate Athletics Association (CIAA) and The University of North Carolina (UNC) system when becoming the Athletics Director at Elizabeth City State University (ECSU).
ECSU afforded him the opportunity to continue pursuit of his profession in intercollegiate athletics and higher education; aligning with three well-established and historically successful enterprises that were affiliated with his home state.
In January 2007, after 13 years at ECSU, he became Athletics Director at Fayetteville State University (FSU), also a member institution of the CIAA and UNC system.
Now, at the end of this academic year, 2013-2014, McLean will have completed 20 consecutive years as an Athletics Director in the CIAA and UNC system with an impressive and unblemished reputation as a leader and administrator of intercollegiate athletics; and he's not done yet.
"I like to think I have been an asset to ECSU, FSU, and the CIAA," said McLean recently. "Clearly, leading the athletics programs at these two institutions has proven to be professionally rewarding and fulfilling for me. Managing athletics on the college level was a goal I set early in my career. To evolve from being a coach and health and physical education professor, lead at a higher level, and have a positive impact on the future of student-athletes and other coaches' careers were of great importance to me."
McLean's career has been stellar in terms of integrity and success of the programs he has led. When he began his tenure at ECSU, he inherited an athletic program that was in the midst of responding to NCAA infractions. He, along with a campus committee, was able to resolve the issues satisfactorily to the NCAA within one year of his arrival. During his 13-years at ECSU, he required accountability and worked diligently to strengthen the athletics programs and make the teams as competitive as possible within the CIAA and NCAA Division II.
McLean's leadership and wisdom with regard to athletics management has improved with time and FSU has benefitted from that expertise. In the last 7 years at the helm of the Broncos, he made it a priority to enhance FSU's already outstanding facilities, making the football field and basketball arena two of the most impressive venues in the CIAA. He also focused on team competitiveness along with academics. Since 2007 when he arrived, the Broncos have won at least one conference championship each year totaling 14 as of 2014. Specifically, the Broncos won CIAA championships in football (2009), women's basketball (2010), golf (2006, 2007, 2009, 2012), volleyball (2007, 2013, 2014), bowling (2007, 2008, 2011, 2012), and tennis (2007). Along with winning on the courts and fields, McLean is most proud of the student-athletes winning in the classroom as indicated by the average graduation rate during his tenure there of 60%.
In addition to McLean's effective day-to-day leadership, he has remained committed to his profession. In the CIAA, he serves on the Management Council of the CIAA, most recently having served as Chair and CIAA Conference President--a position he has held twice (2012-2014 and 2004-2006). He has also held the offices of CIAA Athletics Director Association President and Secretary, and CIAA Vice President at conference and division levels.
On the national level, he has been a leader and active member in the National Association of Collegiate Athletics Directors (NACDA) Division II, serving on the board from 2000-2009 and the executive committee from 2009-2013. McLean has also extended his expertise to the NCAA Division II, serving on the South Regional Advisory Football Committee from 1994-2002 and being the chairperson of this group during the last four years of that appointment. Concurrently, he served on the NCAA National Football Committee from 1998-2002 and was elected chair in 2000.
McLean acknowledges his accomplishments and looks ahead. "While this 20th anniversary is a major milestone for me in the CIAA and in my profession, my commitment to serving the student-athletes and carrying out the university's and conference's goals will continue. For the foreseeable future, I plan to share my expertise, mentor others coming behind me, ensure the student-athletes receive the best support possible, and work to make FSU and the CIAA formidable contenders in the NCAA."
McLean earned his doctorate from The University of Tennessee in Knoxville where he conducted scholarly research in motor behavior and sports psychology. He also received both his bachelor's and master's degrees in Physical Education and Sociology of Sports at North Carolina Central University in Durham. To stay abreast and current in his profession, he pursued and completed the 3-year, 3-level NACDA Management/Leadership Institute program.