Vince Amato named CCAA Athletic Director of the Year

Under the leadership of Vince Amato, Champlain College Saint-Lambert is quickly building a reputation as a great host college.

For his part, Amato is being recognized as the 2014 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s Athletic Director of the Year.

The Cavaliers recently hosted the successful 2014 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship and in 2012, they hosted the Cross-Country Running National Championships. For Amato, there’s no time to rest: He has recently submitted a bid to host the 2015 CCAA Men’s Soccer National Championship.

“Vince is a major force at his institution, in his conference and at the national level,” said Sandra Murray-MacDonell, CCAA Executive Director. “Champlain College, while a smaller institution, has hosted concurrent national championships, which have been rated among the best,” she added.

Because Champlain is a small College (the Athletics Department has only two staff members), Amato has enforced a team approach. He actively involves students on campus; particularly those who can apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and use these tools in “real life” situations. At the Women’s Basketball National Championship, Amato assembled a volunteer team of 127 people, which included students in TV Production, Sports Marketing and Tourism.

“Every event Vince organizes is a success; his hard work brings together both the college and the external community,” said Véronique Champoux, CCAA Vice-President of Sports Development.

Amato constantly encourages his student-athletes to get involved in the community. Champlain’s basketball and football teams continue to work with local elementary and high schools, while both the men’s and women’s basketball team held half-day clinics with local high schools during the Christmas break.

Meanwhile, Amato has been a key player in organizing and running the Champlain College Foundation's Annual Golf Tournament, in which more than $150,000 has been raised over the past six years.

At Champlain, Amato has instilled a culture of academics through the Academic Coaching Program, which includes 20 staff and faculty who adopt student-athletes and help ensure their academic success. As a result, the success rate of student-athletes is 92%. At Champlain’s annual athletic awards ceremony, Amato has once again reinforced the notion of academics and athletic excellence, recognizing individuals and teams with awards for their academic and athletic pursuits.

In 2013-14, the Cavaliers enjoyed success on the field as well. The men’s soccer team captured an RSEQ bronze medal, while the Men’s Cross-Country Running squad won gold at the Regionals and silver at Provincials.

Amato, who has served as Athletic Director at Champlain for five years, is extremely active at the national level.  “Vince's involvement and contribution this season with the CCAA is at an ultimate high being actively involved in numerous committees including: Executive, marketing, bid selections, awards, database and 40th anniversary,” said Murray-MacDonell. 

Amato doesn’t stop there. He is also on the Champlain College Foundation board and has been involved as the RSEQ Conference representative. And, he is also on the RSEQ Acceptance Committee for High School Basketball teams and the RSEQ Marketing Committee. “The RSEQ is very proud to be able to count Vince as a leader of our organization,” said Champoux.

“Vince is a true supporter of post-secondary sport in this country and I see his role continuing to grow in the coming years,” added Murray-MacDonell.

The Athletic Director of the Year award was presented at the CCAA annual general meeting in Banff, AB on June 10, 2014.

The CCAA is a national sport organization that enriches the lives of student-athletes through intercollegiate competition.