Dr. Michael Vienna has been at Salisbury University since 1989. He was appointed director of Athletics on May 1, 1993, after previously serving as the University's associate director of Athletics. In 2003, he added duties as the director of the University's Campus Recreation program which provides recreational opportunities for over 8,600 students, plus faculty and staff. Since becoming its athletics director, Salisbury has finished in the top 25 (out of over 445 institutions) on 13 occasions with the highest being ninth in 2009-10 when the program finished in ninth place. This award is presented annually to the nation's best overall collegiate athletics programs by division based upon success in postseason NCAA tournaments.
During Vienna's tenure, the athletics program arguably has had the most successful era in school history. Sea Gull teams have combined for an overall winning percentage of 69 percent, garnering 17 team and 11 individual national championships, 13 national second-place finishes, 161 conference championships and 10 conference All-Sports awards. Every varsity sport has been represented at a national tournament during this time, and the program has produced more than 400 All-Americans.
Most importantly has been the academic success of Salisbury's student-athletes. Annually, over 50 percent of Salisbury's student-athletes have earned grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher. Sea Gull teams often rank among the leaders in national team grade-point averages and have produced numerous academic All-Americans. When Sea Gull student-athletes are compared to the rest of the University's student body, student-athletes perform as well or better in many important academic categories. The most impressive academic achievement has been that student-athletes have had a significantly higher graduation rate than the rest of the Salisbury University student body and this is noteworthy as Salisbury consistently has one of the best graduation rates in the entire University System of Maryland.
The athletics program also has seen capital improvements, significant staffing increases and the addition of four varsity sports during Vienna's tenure. Facility improvements have included two new soccer fields and a team building, a Maggs Physical Activities Center addition, acquisition of the indoor tennis center, a new weight room and office space, new scoreboards at all athletics venues and artificial turf field and lights at Sea Gull Stadium. Vienna has also spearheaded the renovation of five additional outdoor fields, the Maggs Physical Activities Center main gym and weight rooms, outdoor running track, the swimming pool, both the outdoor and indoor tennis courts and the University Fitness Club.
At Salisbury, Vienna established the Varsity Club as a comprehensive fundraising organization to support Sea Gull Athletics. He initiated and has taught the NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills Program and helped the institution secure a $30,000 NCAA Choices grant. He has also served as both the interim vice president for student affairs, the acting University judicial administrator and an adjunct professor.
A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) since 1985, Vienna has served 30 years as a college athletics administrator. He has been a member of the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators since 1996 and served on its national executive board (2006-08). He served as president and vice president of the Capital Athletic Conference from 1997-2001 and has been the conference treasurer from 2004 until 2013. He is past secretary/treasurer of the Maryland Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, of which he has been a member since 1989.
Vienna has been a member of the Athletic Managementmagazine editorial board since 1997. He was a member of the Athletic Central Football Conference Board of Directors (1998-2001), serving as its treasurer from 2001 until 2010. He also has served on several committees including the NCAA national committee for men's soccer, the NCAA regional committee for men's basketball and is currently serving as chairperson on the NCAA Nominating Commitee.
He has published several articles on sport management and made numerous professional presentations. He has been awarded the 2007 NACDA Athletic Director of the Year for Division III's southeast region, the Wicomico County Tourism Person of the Year and the Salisbury University Presidential Appreciation Award.
In addition to working at Salisbury University, he has experience as a head basketball and golf coach and athletic director at the two-year college level, assistant soccer coach at both the Division I and III levels, a physical education instructor, worked in the front office of the Cleveland Force of the Professional Indoor Soccer League, interned and worked with the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA, and worked both in the sporting goods and health club industries.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Mount Union and his master's and Ph.D. from Kent State University. At Mount Union, he was a four-year starter on the soccer team where he earned all-conference, all-state, team MVP and team captain accolades.
A native of Belfast, N.Y., Vienna is a member of the Allegany County Sports Hall of Fame. He and his wife Janine have two grown daughters, Ashley and Jacquelyn.