30 years of excellence will come to a close in June
SUNY Oneonta Director of Athletics Tracey Ranieri has announced that she is retiring in June.
To say that Ranieri was just another administrator or coach would be to say that the earth is round. Her 30 years of service in excellence will be one that leaves an indelible mark on the college and the impact she has had on the lives of thousands of student athletes is immeasurable. Her passion for student athletes is inspirational!
Ranieri grew up in nearby Schenevus, NY, and has achieved success at every level of coaching and administration while serving as a role model and mentor for those currently serving as coaches and administrators across the country. She has also served nationally in decision-making positions to affect positive change within the field of athletics.
Ranieri began her tenure at the college in 1991 as the Head Women’s Soccer Coach and Senior Woman Administrator before adding additional duties as the Assistant Athletic Director in 1995.
As soccer coach, from 1991-2006, Ranieri built a program that set the record at the time for all NCAA divisions, men, and women, for the longest conference unbeaten streak of 101 games. Her tenure included 14 post-season appearances including eight straight NCAA appearances from 1999-2006, eight SUNYAC Conference Championships, five SUNYAC Coach of the Year honors, NYSWCAA Coach of the Year and NSCAA Regional Coach of the Year. In 2003 Ranieri was named the National Coach of the Year when Oneonta won NCAA Division III National Championship, the college’s first and only team to accomplish the feat to date. Ranieri and her husband, David, who served as her associate coach for 15 years, celebrated numerous academic and athletic All-Americans. In 2007, Ranieri was selected as the Athletics Director and, what has happened during the last 15 years, is nothing short of transformative. Every aspect of the way the athletics department operates has been influenced by the energy and foresight that Ranieri brought to the position. Her tireless efforts to elevate the department in academics, athletic excellence and service is the benchmark for the future. She has been involved and worked with every office on the campus to foster lasting relationships to the benefit of students and athletes at Oneonta.
Developing scholar-athletes has always been at the forefront of Ranieri’s messaging. Athletes have a higher GPA, retention, and graduation rate than the general student body. A unique Faculty Mentorship Program, strategic service learning opportunities, leadership programming and emphasis on internship and study abroad experiences have all created an environment for student athletes to thrive.
In recent years, Ranieri played a principal role in securing two new turf field facilities, a turfed baseball facility, upgrades to the softball facility that included a grandstand, press box and new dugouts and upgrades to existing locker rooms where teams have their own spaces. With her hands in many projects and programs on-and-off campus, she is known as a self-starter who works cooperatively with all facets of the campus community to support scholar athletes and promote growth in the athletics program.
Over the course of 30 years within the SUNYAC, which is the oldest Division III conference, Ranieri positively impacted many areas that has positioned the conference for continued growth and success. She served as the President during the 2001-02 academic year and again from 2017-19. She served on many committees and brought her passion to many of the student athlete initiatives that allowed the conference’s student athletes to benefit in many ways regionally and nationally.
As a host for numerous conference and NCAA tournament events, Ranieri established Oneonta as a national program of integrity and one that provided a top-notch experience for all that competed here. In 2013, Ranieri was appointed to serve a four-year term on the NCAA Division III Management Council where she later served as its Chair during 2015-16. The Management Council consists of 19 members, and includes Division III Chief Executive Officers, faculty athletics representatives, athletic directors, senior woman administrators, conference representatives and student-athletes. The council serves nearly 450 active NCAA Division III member institutions in 43 conferences.
Ranieri served in many capacities and on many important committees during her tenure on the Council. She served on the Administrative Committee and Strategic Planning and Finance Committee while serving on the Championships Committee, Joint Legislative Steering Committee and Convention Planning Subcommittee. She was also an ex-officio member on the Board of Governors, which is the highest governance body in the NCAA and is composed of institutional chief executive officers that oversee Association-wide issues. The board is charged with ensuring that each division operates consistently with the basic purposes, fundamental policies, and general principles of the Association.
In 2016, Ranieri was appointed to serve on the NCAA Board of Governors Ad Hoc Committee to Promote Cultural Diversity & Equity. The committee was comprised of presidents, commissioner’s, and athletic directors within the governance structure from all three divisions. The committee was tasked with developing strategic and funding initiatives to increase the cultural diversity in coaching, athletics administration, and national office staff. Secondarily, the committee’s work included similar and equivalent strategic efforts related to gender equity with initiatives further informed by the recommendations of the Gender Equity Task Force.
Dan Dutcher, former Vice President of Division III stated of Ranieri’s tenure on the council, “Tracey’s commitment and service to the Council were matched only by her passion for the Division III model and student-athlete experience. Her enthusiasm was contagious!”
Dr. Jennifer Bueche is the Faculty Athletic Representative and had this to say, “Tracey Ranieri's passion and commitment to the success of student-athletes has been the center focus of her work as SUNY Oneonta's Athletic Director. Her legacy is best captured in her compassionate leadership and commitment to the Division III Philosophy and her ability to exemplify and instill positive ideals that have inspired so many Coaches and student-athletes to be exemplary. It has been a privilege to serve alongside her as the FAR for the College during the last 10 years. I know that I speak for so many when I say that she will be sorely missed.”
Ranieri received a BS in 1986 from of Ithaca College, an MS in 1993 from East Stroudsburg and a BS in 1995 from SUNY Binghamton.
Ranieri’s Achievement Timeline
1999: Inducted into the NYS Section IV Athletic Hall of Fame.
2001: Inducted into the Ithaca College Athletic Hall of Fame where she was the top player for the women’s soccer program and its first All-American.
2004: Received the esteemed SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service. This award is presented to SUNY employees that have consistently demonstrated superlative performance within and beyond their position.
2006: Graduate of the prestigious NCAA Fellows Program
2007: Received the City of Oneonta Trailblazer Award by the Commission on Community Relations and Human Rights. The Award is presented to a woman who has shown the courage and dedication to go beyond the ordinary resulting in contribution to the Greater Oneonta Community for her leadership in athletics.
2014: Received the NACDA Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year Award, awarded annually to honor Athletic Director’s for their commitment and administrative excellence.
2013-16: Served on the NCAA Division III Management Council
2015-16: Chair, NCAA Division III Management Council