NORTON, Mass. - Wheaton College is pleased to announce the hiring of Gavin Viano as the college's new director of athletics and recreation, effective February 17, 2020.
Selected after a national search, Viano arrives at Wheaton with nearly 20 years of experience and education in college athletics and sports management. He currently serves as associate athletic director and director of athletic development at Davidson College.
"I am pleased to welcome Gavin to our senior leadership team at Wheaton College," President Dennis M. Hanno said. "Athletics, wellness, and recreation are an integral part of our mission to provide a holistic student experience, and Gavin's commitment to each of these components was paramount in his conversations with the campus community. I look forward to his impact on the college and this next chapter of Wheaton Athletics."
Viano has served for five years as associate athletic director for Davidson College, a Division I school known for its success in multiple sports at the national level, and he provided administrative leadership for men's and women's swimming and diving and men's golf. Davidson Men's Golf won the 2018 Atlantic-10 (A-10) Championship advancing to the NCAA regionals for the first time in school history, while also winning the individual A-10 golf championship in both 2017 and 2018. Additionally, women's swimmer Elise Lankiewicz became only the third Wildcat to qualify for NCAA championships in 2017. During his time at Davidson, Viano also co-chaired and served on multiple campus-wide committees, including coaching searches, athletics hall of fame nominations, and the athletic committee of the board of trustees.
As a member of Athletics' senior staff leading the Davidson Athletic Fund, Viano led multiple fundraising successes, providing essential support to scholar-athletes and helping them to achieve their own successes both on and off the playing field. Under his leadership, Davidson completed a $50 million campaign for athletics, exceeding the goal by $10 million. He secured several one-year fundraising records for athletic scholarships, team funds, and facility improvements, increasing annual support by 75 percent. He was also an integral member in creating new corporate and external revenue sources that enhanced fan and campus experiences.
"We are extremely excited to welcome Gavin to the Department of Athletics and Recreation," Interim Director of Athletics & Recreation Lisa Yenush '90 said. "Gavin's passion for college athletics and his committed vision to supporting our student-athletes, coaches and the Wheaton community will provide us great opportunity to build on our rich history and position us for long-term success."
Prior to his time at Davidson, Viano spent nearly five years as the senior managing director of athletic fundraising at Dartmouth College, where he led fundraising efforts for 34 varsity sports, working closely with alumni, parents, and friends of Dartmouth to increase annual giving support by more than 100 percent during his tenure. Throughout his career, Viano has held a variety of positions in the athletics departments at Drexel University, Fordham University, St. John's University and Clark University. He also served as a conference representative for the National Association of Athletic Development Directors from 2012–2014.
Viano earned an M.S. in Sport Management from Drexel University and is a member of the Sports Management Institute's Executive Program class of 2018–2019. He also has a B.A. in History from Clark University, where he was a member and team captain of the swimming and diving team.
"Throughout my time at Wheaton, the students, faculty, and staff truly conveyed how special a community there is at the college," Viano said. "My experience as both a student-athlete and an assistant coach within the NEWMAC have afforded me the unique opportunity to experience firsthand the impact Division III athletics can have on scholar-athletes and the entire campus. I am excited to join an incredible group of colleagues and students and I share their commitment to the creativity and vision needed to continue to produce positive experiences and outcomes for the college, for the student-athletes, and for Wheaton Athletics."
"I'd like to thank President Dennis Hanno, the search committee, and each of the individuals I met during the interview process for providing me with this great opportunity to lead Wheaton Athletics," Viano shared. "I'd also like to thank everybody at Davidson, who supported me and helped to prepare me for this next chapter. I'm excited to get to work."