Michael L. Covone
Director of Athletics
Michael L. Covone has served with the Buccaneer Athletic Department since its inception in 1984, first as the head women's soccer coach and now since 1998, as the Director of Athletics.
One of the most respected leaders in college athletics, Covone served on the NCAA Management Council from 2002 â€"2008, and as vice-chair from 2006-2008. He also served on the NCAA Division II Identity committee, the NCAA Budget & Finance Committee, the NCAA Community Advisory Task Force, the SSC Strategic Planning Committee, the NCAA South Regional Basketball Committee, and the SSC Basketball Tournament Committee. Covone served on the Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the NCAA Sportsmanship & Ethical Conduct Committee, the NCAA Championship/ Eligibility Project committee, the NCAA Women's Soccer Committee, and chaired the Intercollegiate Soccer Association of America (ISAA) National Committee. In addition, Covone was the United States Olympic Development South Regional Women's Soccer Coach from 1985 to 1991, and was on the USYSA National Staff from 1984 to 1993.
Covone guided the women's soccer program to a 140-32-9 record in 11 seasons from 1984-94. The Bucs advanced to the NCAA Tournament seven times; had 11 consecutive winning seasons, including a berth in the 1987 NCAA Division I tournament. Barry played in the first six NCAA Division II finals, winning three national titles in 1989, 1992 and 1993. The program produced 15 NSCAA All-Americans, two NCAA National "Players of the Year', and nine scholar All-Americans during his tenure.
Covone has been honored for his work, winning the 2004-2005 General SportsTurf Systems "Athletic Director of the Year" for the Southeast Region. In addition, Covone was the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) National "Coach of the Year' in 1989 and 1991, and regional coach of the year in 1988, 1992 and 1993. In 1997 he was inducted into the Sunshine State Conference "Hall of Fame' for his work as a pioneer of women's soccer and as an administrator.
Along with guiding the women's soccer program to the summit of Division II, Covone also served as associate director of athletics from 1988-96 and executive associate director of athletics at Barry University from 1996-1998. In 1998, he became the third director of athletics in Barry history. As director, he has overseen the Buccaneers' rise to national prominence as a department. The Bucs finished the 1997-98 athletic year ranked third overall in the prestigious Sears Director's Cup competition and was the highest-ranked private institution in the country. Since then, the Bucs have finished as one of the top programs every year, and were again the top private institution in the country in 2003-2004.
From 1984 to 1998, Barry produced 53 All-Americans and 40 Scholar All-Americans. Since 1998 when Covone became Director of Athletics, there have been 123 All-Americans and 131 Scholar All-Americans, six NCAA "Women of the Year' finalists, five Florida NCAA "Women of the Year' award winners, an NCAA Walter Byers Scholarship recipient, four NCAA Post-graduate scholarship recipients and three NACDA Post-Graduate scholarship recipients. Barry University also won the 2001 and 2004 NCAA National Championships in volleyball, the 2007 men's golf national championship, and the 2010 men's tennis national championship. In addition, Barry has captured 26 Sunshine State Conference titles and three Sunshine State Conference Mayor's Cup trophies on the women's side and one on the men's side.
He has been a fixture in South Florida sports for many years. He serves on the prestigious Orange Bowl Committee and was Vice Chair of the Orange Bowl's Youth Football League (YFL) and the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. He is also a member of the Greater Miami Dade Chamber of Commerce Sports Council, on the Board of Directors of the Miami Dade Sports Commission, and was involved in the South Florida Olympic Soccer Committee. Covone also served on the Miami Dade Sports Commission "Hall of Champions' Committee. He helped bring the Super Bowl to Miami in 1999 as a member of the NFL Super Bowl Host Committee.
A native of Hialeah, Florida, Covone picked up two All-America awards while attending Miami-Dade North Community College and was selected as an alternate for the United States Olympic Team in 1980. After turning professional, he spent two years with the St. Louis Steamers and Phoenix Inferno of the Major Indoor Soccer League. He served one year as the men's assistant coach at Miami-Dade South and won the NJCAA National Championship before coming to Barry to start the Buccaneer program in 1984. Covone received his
Bachelor's degree and Master's degree in Higher Education Administration from Barry University.
While accomplishing many things within the community, he is also recognized for the continued development of the Barry University Athletic program. Since 1998, the athletic program has grown and continues to excel in academics and athletics. Listed below are just a few program highlights and additions since 1998:
- Continued the academic integrity of the intercollegiate athletic program â€" Academically, 2009-2010 was again one of the best years in the history of Barry University's athletic program.
- In the Fall semester, 2010, the average term GPA for twelve teams was 3.143. The average cumulative GPA was 3.155. Almost 63 % (62.7%) of all student/athletes had a term GPA of 3.0 or higherJ. A Little more than 5 % (5.4 %) of all student/athletes had a 4.0 term GPA; 64.3 % of all student/athletes hold a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Nine of the twelve teams had GPAs of 3.0 or higher. The Sunshine State Conference, once again for the fourth consecutive year, led all NCAA Division II conferences in the Academic Success Rate (graduation rate) of all student/athletes, at 86 %. The Barry Softball Team ranked #11 in the nation in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Academic Teams for 2009 â€" 2010 (cumulative GPA 3.406). The team with the highest cumulative GPA is women's soccer (3.400). Nine teams had cumulative GPAs of 3.0 or higher.
- Historically, 7-8 of 12 teams qualify for NCAA Post-season competition.
- Highest Graduation Rate of student-athletes in the Sunshine State Conference
- Launched new "Athletic Website" GoBarryBucs.com
- Launched electronic news letter -- BUC-E-NEWS
- Launched Internet Broadcast of Athletic events with Live Stats and audio broadcasts of athletic contest, eScores, and video streaming
- Added lights to four athletic fields (soccer, baseball, softball, campus recreation)
- Formalized corporate sponsorship agreements with Coca-Cola, Nike, Papa Johns, Boston Market, and other local establishments
- increased total gifts to the department and has enjoyed increased media coverage every year
- Hosted NCAA Men's & Women's Soccer National Championships in 1999 & 2000 (only institution to host both championships at the same time, at the same site) and produce live web broadcast of all games
- Added the NCAA Champs/ Life Skills program
- Added the sport of Women's Golf (12th sport overall)
- Received a "Perfect Score' from the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools (SACS) Accreditation visiting committee â€" No recommendations or suggestions.
- Enhancement of all outdoor facilities