Dan Mara, CACC
Title Commissioner
Address P.O. Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525
Phone 203-298-4808
Fax 203-298-4810
E-Mail dmara@caccathletics.org

Dan Mara, an award-winning administrator and a hall-of-fame coach, is in his 14th year as Commissioner of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. Mara arrived at the CACC Office in 2006 after 11 years as the Associate Vice President for Athletics and Fitness at CACC-member Post University. He is the third longest tenured commissioner in Division II.  

In 2016, Mara was recognized by the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) as the Conference Commissioner of the Year. He was also honored with selection to the 2016 and 2017 Irish Education 100. The honor identified Mara as one of the 100 most influential educators of Irish heritage in the United States.

During his tenure at the CACC, the conference has grown from 12 members to the current 14 members. The CACC trails only the Lone Star State Conference,  Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, Great Lakes Valley Conference, and the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference in number of members.    

When he was at Post University, Mara served as Vice President of the CACC Directors Council from 1998 to 2004 and chaired the conference's Ethics and Membership Committees until his appointment as Commissioner. He was a CACC representative to the NCAA Northeast Regional Division II Men's Basketball Committee from 2002-05. During that time, he was heavily involved with the CACC's move to the NCAA. Mara, and Caldwell University Executive Director of Athletics Mark Corino, served as the conference's representatives to the NCAA and the Division II Collegiate Commissioner's Association as the league progressed through the Provisional Conference process. The CACC was elected to Active NCAA Membership in July of 2004. 

Mara was the CACC's first representative to serve on the prestigious NCAA Division II Management Council. He represented the conference from 2004-2009. He was the Chairman of the NCAA Division II Convention Planning Team from 2007-2009 and chaired the NCAA Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Committee from 2007-2009. He was a Sportsmanship Committee member from 2005-2009. He was also a member of the Division II Identity Sub-Committee. He served as a member of the Division II Infractions Penalties Sub-Committee as well as the NCAA Life and Work Balance Association-Wide Group. Mara served a four-year term on the NCAA Division II Membership Committee (2010-2014). He was elected Vice Chair of the Committee in 2011 and was Chairman of the Committee from 2012 to 2014. He is the Chair of the NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee for 2019-20.  

From 2008-2010, Mara was President of the ECAC after serving as Vice President from 2006-2008. He was an ECAC Board of Directors member from 2005 to 2013.  In 2007, he chaired the ECAC Commissioner Search Committee, and also chaired the ECAC Strategic Planning, League and Affiliates and Nominating Committees, and was a member of the Marketing Committee. Mara is Second Vice-President of the Division II Collegiate Commissioners Association and will Chair the Association in 2020-21. He has served on a number of D2 CCA Committees.

Mara led the Post University Athletic Department for 11 years (1995-2006), during which he moved the Eagles from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) to full membership status in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II. Mara began as Director of Athletics in 1995 and was promoted to Associate Vice President in 2002. During his tenure, the Post athletic program grew from five varsity sports to 12 varsity, two sub-varsity and two club sports. Mara received many honors for his achievements as an athletic administrator at Post. He was named CACC Athletic Administrator of the Year in 1997-98, 2000-2001 and 2005-06, and was named NAIA Region X Athletic Administrator of the Year in 2001. The American Red Cross recognized him with the Good Neighbor Award in 2005.

He started his career in intercollegiate athletics at Mitchell College as sports information director in 1976. Mara was promoted to assistant athletic director in 1978 and his duties included sports information as well as coordinating recruitment for all sports. He began coaching as assistant softball coach and assistant women's basketball coach in 1977. His first head coaching position was as Mitchell's baseball coach in 1979. He became head women's basketball coach in 1984 and also served as head softball coach in 1990 and 1991. During his time as recruiting coordinator, Mitchell teams won five national titles and 40 New England Championships. 

Mara coached the Mitchell College women's basketball team for 10 seasons and compiled a career mark of 289-16 (.947 winning percentage). His teams won 10 National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) New England titles and reached two National Junior College Athletic Association Final Fours. In five different seasons the Pequots reached number one in the NJCAA National Poll. During his tenure Mitchell established a national record for consecutive regular season victories. The streak, which ultimately reached 234, was at 223 straight when Mara departed Mitchell to become Director of Athletics at Post University. The Pequots fashioned undefeated regular season records in every campaign from 1987-88 until his departure after the 1994-1995 season. The 1994-95 team, which reached the NJCAA Final Four, was inducted in to the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009. 

At Mitchell, Mara coached 10 Kodak All-Americans including future WNBA All-Star Rita Williams. Williams went on the University of Connecticut and was the 12th pick in the 1998 WNBA Draft. Williams was one of over a dozen student-athletes to go on to play Division I basketball from the Mitchell Program. The Mitchell women were not just successful on the court, as 98 percent graduated from Mitchell and an equal percentage continued their education at four-year colleges. 

Mara is a member of four halls of fame for his basketball accomplishments. He was inducted into the Mitchell College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998, the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003,  the NJCAA  Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Connecticut Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2019 (official CT WBB HOF Bio). He was featured in an article in the March 7, 1994 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine and in the book Basketball for Dummies by Digger Phelps.  

He spent 16 years as a director of the highly successful Fundamental Basketball Camp at Mitchell College and served on the staff of the Irish Basketball Association (IBA) Basketball Camp in Dungarvan, Ireland for eight years (1994-2002) working with legendary Irish Coach Fergus Woods.  

He was named NJCAA New England Women's Basketball Coach of the Year nine times, Colonial States Athletic Conference (CSAC) Coach of the Year six times, NJCAA District Coach of the Year three times and Converse District One Coach of the Year in 1994. He was named CSAC Softball Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1991 for leading Mitchell to the conference championship both seasons. He coached the Post men's basketball team to a fourth place finish in the CACC in his only season, 1996-97.

Mara holds degrees from Mitchell College and Roger Williams University as well as a Graduate Certificate from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA). He lives with his son Danny (16).

Ellen O'Brien, CACC
Title Associate Commissioner/SWA
Address P.O. Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525
Phone 203-298-4807
Fax 203-298-4810
E-Mail eobrien@caccathletics.org

Ellen O’Brien is in her eighth year as the Associate Commissioner/SWA of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC).

A native of Bethesda, Md., O’Brien is primarily responsible for eligibility, budget, the conference grant program and educational opportunities for conference members.   She also serves as the conference office liaison to the CACC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), the CACC Senior Woman Administrator Committee and the CACC Compliance Coordinators. In June 2015, Ellen graduated from the NCAA/D2ADA Mentor Program.  She was also appointed to the NCAA Division II East Regional Advisory Committee for Men's Golf and served in that role from 2013 to 2016.

“Ellen brought a wide range of previous experience to the CACC,” Commissioner Mara said.  “Her versatility and dedication to collegiate athletics is a benefit to the CACC and each of its member schools.  She relates to and assists both the student-athletes and the administrators at the 14 CACC schools.” Since 2012, she has helped initiate the annual East Region Compliance Seminar and arranged a partnership with the East Coast Conference (ECC) for an annual two-day Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Retreat.

O’Brien arrived at the CACC following a stint at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pa.  During her time at Misericordia, O’Brien handled a wide range of responsibilities.  She spent two seasons as an assistant coach with the women’s basketball program where she was primarily responsible for recruiting, scouting and film exchange.

In addition to her coaching duties, O’Brien served as the Assistant to the Athletic Director which saw her handle a multitude of tasks including work-study supervision, budget and accounting, facility maintenance, event planning and championship administration.

O’Brien also was tabbed as the Coordinator of Athletics Facilities and served in that role during her final five months at Misericordia.  Her responsibilities included maintaining the Sports and Health Center schedule, overseeing the scheduling of athletic facilities and serving as the athletic department representative in summer planning, commencement and convocation meetings.

Prior to Misericordia, O’Brien was an athletic department graduate assistant at Ithaca College.  During her time at Ithaca, she assisted with game operations, budget, payroll management and supervision of the student athletic staff.

O’Brien earned her Master of Science degree in Sport Management from Ithaca College.

As an undergraduate, O’Brien earned a pair of degrees from Denison University in Granville, Ohio.  She graduated with Cum Laude honors, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Sports Management and Psychology.

While at Denison, she was a member of the women’s basketball team for four seasons.  She was a three-time All-NCAC selection and was named to the ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District Third Team.  O’Brien was the NCAA DIII leader in assist/turnover ratio (4.37) in her final season representing the Big Red.  She was a member of Denison’s SAAC for three years.

Doug DeBiase, CACC
Title Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications
Address PO Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525
Phone 203-298-4806
Fax 203-298-4810
E-Mail ddebiase@caccathletics.org

Doug DeBiase is in his sixth year at the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. He was promoted to Associate Commissioner for Strategic Communications in July 2016. He served as the Assistant Commissioner during his first two years with the conference.

In his role, DeBiase oversees all external communications for the conference, including the website, videos, the CACC Network and student-athlete awards. He also handles scheduling and select championships for the conference. In addition to those roles, DeBiase also represents the CACC on the NCAA Division II Men's Tennis East Region Advisory Committee, after serving in the same capacity for the women's tennis RAC.

DeBiase came to the CACC in 2014 after five years at Franklin Pierce University where he was Director of Athletic Communications for four years before being promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Communications and Marketing in September 2013.

During his time at Franklin Pierce, DeBiase restructured the athletic communications office, created a new marketing and community relations program, developed new revenue streams through an online store and pay-per-view game webcasts, promoted the school’s game environment enhancement initiative, and implemented a new online team sponsorship fundraising section on the department’s website. He was also the producer and director of a variety of multi-media projects for special events in the department, managing a staff comprised of an assistant director, a graduate assistant, and team of student-workers. In addition, DeBiase was responsible for sport communications, website maintenance, the online store, slogan and logo branding, publications, broadcasting, and social media.

From 2011 and 2013, Franklin Pierce added five new varsity programs including sprint football, women’s ice hockey, track and field, women’s bowling and women’s golf. DeBiase was a member of the strategic planning committees responsible for these additions. He served two years as sport administrator for men’s and women’s ice hockey, gaining the women’s program conference affiliation in the ECAC East Women’s Ice Hockey League after the program’s first season.

DeBiase oversaw a number of outstanding athletic communications achievements at Franklin Pierce. Franklin Pierce athletics was featured in media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, USA Today, ESPN.com, USAToday.com, NCAA.org, NCAA on Campus, ESPNU, CBS Sports Network, NESN, NESN.com, Baseball America, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Athletic Business, New York Times wire service, Athletic Administration, and the New England Hockey Journal. DeBiase directed media relations for 17 NCAA or Northeast-10 Conference post-season events as well as promoted the appearances and accomplishments of student-athletes competing in the NCAA Division II Tournament Final Four’s and Elite Eight’s over the 2010, 2011, and 2013 seasons and earning conference, regional, or national player-of-the-year honors.

Before signing on at Franklin Pierce, DeBiase held the role of Assistant Manager of Athletic Media Relations at the University of Maine for two years before being promoted to Associate Manager in October 2007.

At the University of Maine, DeBiase served as primary contact for football, women’s basketball, softball, and volleyball. He was the voice of men’s and women’s basketball radio broadcasts on a part-time basis and produced the athletic department’s television series along with other video projects such as the football and women’s basketball highlight reels.

CACC Commissioner, Dan Mara, shared of DeBiase, "Doug is an excellent addition to the CACC. He has had great experience at Franklin Pierce and the University of Maine. Doug has a impressive creativity, a passion for intercollegiate athletics as well as a strong work ethic."
After graduating from Penn State University in 2002, DeBiase interned at the University of Florida where he was the primary contact for the 2003 SEC champion men’s golf and nationally-ranked men’s swimming and diving programs and was an assistant contact for the nationally-ranked football and men’s basketball programs.

DeBiase went on to cover breaking news on professional and college sports for The Sports Network, a 24-hour wire service before he joined the United States Naval Academy as Sports Information Intern in 2004. While responsible for the baseball, men’s and women’s track and field/cross country, sprint football, gymnastics, and women’s basketball media relations at the Naval Academy, DeBiase also worked as Press Box Assistant for the Baltimore Ravens (National Football League) for the 2004-2005 season.

He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Penn State and a Masters’ Degree in Sports Administration from Liberty University.

Allison McDonald, CACC
Title Internal Operations Assistant
Address P.O. Box 3575, New Haven, CT 06525
Phone 203-298-4809
Fax 203-298-4810
E-Mail amcdonald@caccathletics.org

Former Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) student-athlete, Allison McDonald, has served the conference in the position of Internal Operations Assistant since March, 2016.

"We are pleased Allison joined the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference office," CACC Commissioner Dan Mara said. "Being a former student-athlete in the conference, she understands the value of being in the CACC and uses that knowledge to help the league and its member schools achieve the goals they have set for themselves."

In her role, McDonald assists with various operational aspects throughout the CACC, including communications, website maintenance, book keeping, research, championship coordination and other components in the league office. 

McDonald was a member of the Wilmington University women's basketball team and earned her undergraduate degree in behavioral science in August 2014. She remained at the school and completed her masters degree in administration of criminal justice a year later in August 2015.

McDonald was a standout in the classroom during her playing career, as she was named to the 2013-14 CACC Winter All-Academic Team with a cumulative grade point average of 3.70 at the time of the honor.

She started 13 games during her senior season in 2013-14 and averaged 2.3 points per game. McDonald also collected 3.0 rebounds a game as a senior and averaged just under a block an outing as well (0.9). She also logged 13 starts as a junior (2012-13) and averaged 3.0 points and 4.0 rebounds a game.