Misiak officially named director of athletics at SUNY Potsdam
POTSDAM - Mark Misiak's (G'12) promotion to SUNY Potsdam's Director of Athletics is now permanent. Misiak, who has served as interim athletic director since last July, is the eighth person to assume the title at the College. He will continue to serve as head coach of the women's soccer team, as he has since 2011.
Despite the pandemic preventing the 2020-21 season from being a typical one, Misiak led the athletic department through a busy year. He hired Brianna Ferchen and Greg Haney to lead the softball and women's hockey teams, respectively. Misiak also appointed Chris Carlini '16 as interim head coach of the swimming and diving programs. With the College's effective handling of COVID testing and protocol on campus, Bears teams were able to practice throughout the fall season and into the winter with minimal interruptions. Potsdam's spring teams were able to return to competition in March and play a largely full schedule. The spring saw the men's lacrosse team return to the SUNYAC Playoffs, earn multiple All-SUNYAC honors and add another All-American in Josh Huiatt to its ranks. The track and field teams claimed the first individual conference title in program history as Josh Bifolchi won the javelin championship. In April, Misiak co-chaired the Bears Roaring Back Campaign, which raised over $72,000 for Potsdam Athletics in just 10 days.Misiak joined Potsdam's staff in 2010 as the assistant men's soccer coach before taking over the women's program the following summer. Under his guidance as head coach, the Bears have reinvented themselves as perennial postseason competitors. Misiak has led Potsdam to the SUNYAC Playoffs in each of the last three seasons, the first conference postseason berths in the program's 33-year history. He's the team's all-time winningest coach with 69 victories, 52 of those wins coming in the last five seasons. Misiak has recruited 17 All-SUNYAC players, nearly as many as the 22 in all the years before his arrival. With his leadership, the program produced its first All-American (Brooke Falsion '19), first three all-district honorees (Falsion, Rylie Murray '19, Lexi Dean '21) and back-to-back SUNYAC Offensive Players of the Year (Falsion in 2018 and Dean in 2019). Other firsts during Misiak's tenure include the program's first regional ranking and first conference playoff victory. He was named the 2017 SUNYAC Coach of the Year.
In addition to his coaching duties, Misiak has served on several committees across campus. He's been involved with the Employee Awards Committee, the Employee Assistance Program and the Bears' Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He also spent six years serving on Potsdam's Faculty Senate; having chaired the admissions committee, while also being part of the Executive Committee during his tenure. Since 2018, Misiak has also served as chair of the Division III United Soccer Coaches rankings committee for the East Region.
During the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years, Misiak held the titles of assistant athletic director and director of compliance. He has been responsible for ensuring that all Bears student-athletes and coaches adhere to NCAA bylaws, policies and regulations.
Misiak is a 2007 graduate of Plattsburgh State, where he was a standout for the Cardinals' men's soccer program. He is also a Potsdam alum, earning his master's degree in education from the College in 2012.
Misiak is married to Karen Kus, who currently serves as the College's director of career services at the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning. Their son Maximilian was born in March 2020.