AMHERST, Mass. – University of Massachusetts Director of Athletics Ryan Bamford has announced the hiring of Amanda Knight as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Student-Athlete Experience, a recently created position. Knight will oversee all front-line support areas that directly impact Massachusetts student-athletes: Academic Success, Student-Athlete Development, Sports Psychology, Sports Medicine, Sports Performance and Nutrition.
 
Additionally, three members of the executive leadership team have earned promotions. Jeff Smith moves into the role of the Deputy Athletics Director for External Operations, Kirsten Britton will serve as Deputy Athletics Director for Sport Administration/SWA and Dave Biancamano has been promoted to Deputy Athletics Director for Advancement. Knight will join all three Deputy AD’s and Bamford on the executive leadership group.
 
“I am pleased to welcome Amanda to our administrative leadership in a new role for the department,” said Bamford. “She has the skills, energy and experience to drive our support areas forward and impact the experience of our student-athletes every day. Amanda’s accomplishments and extensive background working with students will enrich our administrative team.”
 
“I am thrilled to be joining the leadership team at UMass,” said Knight, “I want to thank Ryan and the search committee for their confidence in me and for this amazing opportunity. I am truly humbled and honored to be able to serve the student-athletes, coaches, and staff at such a prestigious institution. I look forward to being an asset here at UMass and continuing the winning tradition by providing the student-athletes with a supportive and wholistic approach aimed toward academic and athletic excellence.”
 
Knight spent the past eight years at Barry University, most recently in the role of Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator. She served as the sport administrator for Barry’s women’s basketball, rowing, women’s soccer, softball and volleyball programs and also had oversight of the compliance department, NCAA and Sunshine State Conference reports and forms, reviewing and executing departmental policies and procedures and onboarding new staff members.
 
While at Barry, Knight created programming to provide a supportive and transformative experience within the department. In 2019, in collaboration with the university’s counseling center and sport psychology department, she developed an A.R.M.S. (Athletic Resources for Mental Health Support) program, created to identify, monitor, and develop action plans to better assist student-athletes with their mental well-being. Knight also developed an internal leadership workshop to provide effective communication, emotional intelligence, core values, and growth mindset training to coaches, student-athlete and staff members.
 
Knight was a member of Barry’s Anti-Racism and Equity Coalition, a facilitator for the university’s new student orientation program and the athletic liaison on B.U.C.S. (Building Unity, Community, and Solidarity) social justice task force. 
 

Prior to her time at Barry, Knight served as the senior woman administrator at Texas A&M-Kingsville. In addition to her work with the Javelinas, Knight’s previous stops included Grambling State and Campbell where she worked within the schools’ academic and compliance areas of athletics.
 
On the national level, she has served as a facilitator for the NCAA Student-Athlete Leadership Forum and the NCAA’s DISC program and as a mentor for Women Leaders in College Sports. She chaired the Division II National Association for Athletic Compliance committee and the NCAA’s Division II Rowing Committee. Knight has also presented at regional compliance seminars, NACDA, and at the NCAA National Convention in 2018. In 2021, she served as a panelist and representative of Barry University at the Association of Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities summer conference. 
 
She earned a Bachelor’s degree in sport management from Georgia Southern and a Master of Science in intercollegiate athletic administration from California University of Pennsylvania. She began working towards doctorate degree in educational leadership at Barry in 2021.
 
Knight is a 2013 graduate of NACWAA’s Institute for Administrative Advancement, a 2014 graduate of the NCAA’s Leadership Institute, a 2019 participant in the Division II Athletic Directors Association Mentoring Program, a member of NAAC, MOAA, and Women Leaders in College Sports.
 
In his new role, Smith will lead communications, creative services, ticketing, marketing and fan experience and manage the department’s Learfield partnership.
 
In addition to directing sport administration and facilities/event operations, Britton will serve as the department’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), a role built to provide oversight for all administrative aspects of UMass Athletics. Britton will also oversee the department’s human resources, student-athlete code of conduct and serve as Title IX campus liaison.
 
Biancamano, in his sixth year at UMass, administers all aspects of fundraising, along with alumni and constituent engagement for the department.
 
“The promotions for Jeff, Kirsten and Dave are well-deserved,” stated Bamford. “All three have capably served as leaders in our department and advisors to me and our coaches on important matters that support competitive and academic success. I look forward to continuing our work together to advance Massachusetts athletics.”



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