PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Lake Erie College President Michael T. Victor announced Tuesday, June 18, that Reid Guarnieri has been named the school’s new Director of Athletics. Guarnieri, currently the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance at Notre Dame College, is the eighth athletic director at Lake Erie since the advent of intercollegiate sports at the school in 1978 and will begin his duties July 1.
“We are excited to have Reid Guarnieri joining us as Director of Athletics,” Victor said. “His leadership and experiences in professional sports organizations, NCAA Division II athletics, compliance and law will help move Storm athletics to the next level.”
Guarnieri takes over for Griz Zimmermann, who is leaving Lake Erie to accept the Director of Athletics position at Texas A&M International University. Guarnieri inherits a rising program that had arguably its best year since moving to Division II last year as the Storm sent five teams to the NCAA Championships and finished 95th in the Learfield Sports Division II Directors’ Cup standings. That was the seventh highest finish among Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams.
Individually, Lake Erie had three national runner-up finishes and 10 All-American performances in 2012-13.
"I am extremely honored to serve as the next Director of Athletics at Lake Erie College,” Guarnieri said. “The institution shares the value I place on the NCAA Division II Life in the Balance initiative and is committed to the idea that the people under our care are students first and athletes second. After an aggressive and exciting expansion to 23 varsity sports in recent years, many programs are highly competitive both nationally and regionally in what is the premier athletic conference in the nation. I truly believe Lake Erie is poised to reach the next level in academics and athletics.”
Guarnieri comes to Lake Erie College following his tenure as Assistant Athletic Director at Notre Dame College where he served as the sole compliance officer for a 24-sport varsity program of over 700 student-athletes. He joined Notre Dame in 2010, implementing its inaugural NCAA compliance program and successfully transitioning the institution from NAIA to full NCAA Division II membership. During the 2012-13 academic year, its first as a full Division II member, the Falcon program showed immediate competitiveness with the men’s wrestling team finishing third nationally, the men’s soccer team achieving a #14 national ranking and tournament appearance, as well as qualifying two track and field student-athletes for nationals. The Falcon men’s bowling team also finished fifth at the USBC National Collegiate Tournament.
In addition to assisting with the school’s NCAA transition, Guarnieri also helped secure the institution’s charter membership in the Mountain East Conference and was ambassador for a development team that garnered funding for the construction of two on-campus outdoor athletic facilities. At Notre Dame he also provided administrative oversight of competitions, published department manuals, served on a number of institutional committees, assisted the Office of the General Counsel, and taught a course in Legal Issues in Sport. He was promoted to Assistant AD in August of 2011.
Prior to joining the Falcons, Guarnieri worked in both the Baseball and Ballpark Operations departments with the Cleveland Indians from 1999-2006. While there, he assisted John Hart and Mark Shapiro in the office of the Vice President and General Manager and served as a lead supervisor in Guest Services, managing gameday operations and promotions. In this role he oversaw issues related to organizational risk management and helped lead a staff of police, security, Guest Services, and maintenance professionals during a then-Major League record sellout streak of 455 games.
A double graduate of Cleveland State University, Guarnieri earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and liberal studies. In 2006, he graduated from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law where he worked as Compliance Assistant in the CSU Athletics Department and served as Vice President of the Entertainment and Sports Law Association. Following graduation from law school, he clerked with the Cleveland law firm of Ulmer & Berne and spent several years in corporate law and political consulting before returning to college athletics.
A member of the National Association for Athletics Compliance, the Ohio State Bar Association, and Mensa, Guarnieri was also a three-sport athlete at Bay High School in Bay Village, Ohio and remains an avid basketball, tennis, and beach volleyball player. He and his wife, Amanda, and daughter, Olivia, reside in Mentor.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for my family and me to play a role in the community we so love and in which we are committed to remaining,” Guarnieri added. “When we first set foot on campus we immediately fell in love with the beautiful architecture, rolling landscape, and tradition-rich environment. I am devoted to maintaining the family atmosphere that was so evident when I had the pleasure of meeting and learning more about the college's coaches, administrators and staff. I sincerely thank President Victor and Vice President (Robin) Johnson for affording me the opportunity to become a part of the Lake Erie College community and look forward to a very bright future."
Lake Erie College Athletic Directors Since 1978
Sue Dreitlzer, 1978-1984
Diane Morea, 1984-86
Dave Poorman, 1987-94
Sam Corabi, 1994-97
Jim Schweickert, 1997-2003
Ken Krsolovic, 2003-07
Griz Zimmermann, 2007-2013
Reid Guarnieri, 2013-