Villa Maria College has appointed Don Silveri as director of athletics for the college's recently announced sports program. Silveri will bring 38 years of experience as an administrator and coach to re-build the program, while also serving as head coach of the men's basketball team, where his own coaching career began nearly 40 years ago.
Villa's athletics program will have students competing in intercollegiate men's and women's soccer and basketball this fall. Soon after, the college plans to apply for NCAA Division III membership and join a regional conference to compete against other local Division III schools such as Hillbert College in Hamburg, and Medaille College and D'Youville College, both in Buffalo.
"Don brings some earned credibility to our new program, both with his connection to our history and with the relationships he's built throughout his career," Brian Emerson, vice president of enrollment management and student services said.
Silveri said he has a soft spot in his heart for Villa Maria College because it is where he began his coaching career, one of the reasons for his return.
"It's an exciting challenge to move into NCAA Division III, and I'm looking forward to meeting that challenge," he said.
Most recently Silveri served as head coach for men's basketball at Daemen College for 25 years, while spending 12 of those years as director of athletics. Under his guidance, Daemen's athletic department expanded from two sports to a full 14-sport program, and the men's basketball team collected over 400 wins including five conference championships and five national tournament appearances.
Prior to his time at Daemen, Silveri was the head men's basketball coach at Erie Community College, leading the Kats to NJCAA national tournament three times in his four-year tenure. Silveri is one of Western New York's "winningest" coaches, with 584 career collegiate victories and receiving six NAIA Division II conference "Coach of the Year" awards.