On The Cover
30 Years of
University debuts fresh look and feel
Service-learning shapes students
On Top Of The World
Barry pride displayed around the globe
Fall 2013, Volume 18
Q&A with Mike Covone
Mike Covone, Barry’s director of Intercollegiate Athletics, has been a part of every achievement the athletic department has enjoyed. Covone served as the women’s soccer coach from 1984 to 1994, leading the school to its first three national championships. He has served in the roles of associate director and executive associate director of athletics before taking the helm as the department’s leader in 1998. During his time at Barry, Covone has seen the school earn 11 national championships, 52 Sunshine State Conference titles, 261 All-Americans, and 299 Scholar All-Americans. With such an esteemed profile, Covone knows more than most about Barry’s successful past, academic excellence and athletic championships.
When did you first develop a love for athletic competition?
I was always very competitive from a very young age. With two younger brothers, a younger sister, and a neighborhood full of boys, we competed at everything we did. We played sports all the time - soccer, football, baseball.
How exciting was it to coach Barry’s women’s soccer team to the school’s first national title in 1989?
It was an extremely exciting time. We beat Keene State 4-0 at home with a very dedicated and experienced group of women that were committed beyond any coach’s expectations.
How did the championships in 1992 and 1993 compare to the first title?
Many of the freshmen who won in 1989, won again in 1992 as seniors. It was a special time for those student-athletes since we lost in the NCAA finals in 1990 and 1991. In 1993, the team was primarily composed of freshmen who played their hearts out. They were extremely talented, and had a lot of fun.
What is special about Barry University athletics that makes so many top student-athletes and coaches want to be a part of it?
The culture we have developed over the past 30 years is one of fairness and equity. We are committed to doing things the right way with a student-first philosophy and we offer a championship experience for all our student-athletes. It all starts with our coaches who believe in the philosophy and are committed to recruiting the best students.
How difficult was the transition from coach to full-time administrator?
The major difference I experienced came in recruiting, teaching, and coaching students as opposed to hiring and managing personnel. It was rewarding in both cases and full of opportunities. I do miss the big games though!
Since being named athletic director in 1998, what have been your fondest memories of Barry athletics?
Seeing our student-athletes graduate is always rewarding. Watching our students and coaches experience the feeling of winning conference and national championships is gratifying as well.
Looking forward, what are your hopes for Barry University’s athletic department?
Keeping up with ever-changing technology and facility needs will be critical to our future success. We have come a long way, but we also have a long way to go. We live in a new generation which is exciting and sometimes challenging, but full of possibilities.