Colin Preston named Academy of Art University director of athletics

Colin Preston SAN FRANCISCO - Academy of Art University President Dr. Elisa Stephens has officially announced the promotion of Colin Preston to director of athletics.

Preston, one of the first employees when the athletics department was created in 2007, has been passionately devoted to the program, serving in a variety of capacities including associate athletic director for compliance most recently.

Meghan Bushnell, who joined the Urban Knights in 2009, also has been named associate athletic director/senior woman administrator.

“I am excited for the opportunity to lead the Urban Knights as full Division II members," Preston said. "Throughout my time at the Academy of Art University, I have had a chance to develop all areas of the athletic department and I am excited to be part of the history of what we've done. With the support President Stephens has given this athletic department, I feel we can not only be one of the top competitors in the county, but that we also can provide a positive student-athlete experience with contributions that will benefit the community and the city of San Francisco."

Previously the associate athletic director of compliance, Preston has been an instrumental piece of getting the athletics program off the ground.

One of the original two employees in the department, Preston stood alongside the program's first director of athletics, Dr. Jamie Williams, assisting with every one of the Urban Knights' milestones.

Perhaps the most significant one to date, Preston worked diligently on many aspects of Academy of Art University's NCAA membership process that ultimately led to the program's full approval this past July.

Prior to his role as associate athletic director of compliance, Preston handled all operations for facilities, event management, team travel and transportation as assistant athletic director of operations.

For the 2011 season, Preston was an assistant coach for the ART U men's soccer team and also assisted with the inaugural women's soccer team in 2008-09.

"Being a student-athlete at Academy of Art University is truly unique since it is the only art school in the NCAA," Preston said. "We believe in the Division II motto of Life in the Balance and will continue to build on this point of emphasis with our artistic and athletic talents going forward. I thank President Stephens and Dr. Williams for setting the foundation for the continued success of this program."

Preston, a California native, was born in Modesto and now resides in San Francisco with his wife, Jessica. He is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara and received his undergraduate degree in history with a minor in sport management.

Megan Bushnell Preston received his master's degree from the University of San Francisco in sports management in 2009.

In her new position as associate athletic director/senior woman administrator, Bushnell will oversee internal budgetary and operational needs, develop and implement administrative policies and procedures, and assist with strategic planning, while serving as a resource and liaison to the ART U artist-athletes.

She will continue her role as the Urban Knights' advisor for SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and serve as sports administrator to women's soccer, men's and women's cross country, softball, and men's and women's indoor/outdoor track & field, along with sports medicine and strength and conditioning.

“I would like to thank President Stephens for her endless support and the opportunity to continue to develop what has been built under Dr. Williams' vision and now Colin's leadership," Bushnell said. "The passion and talented energy from our artist-athletes is an inspiring motivator to achieve even bigger goals as we embark in our next journey as NCAA Division II active members. I am grateful and proud to be an integral member of the Urban Knights' family and look forward to enhancing our department's standard while making history as the only art school in the NCAA."

A member of the 2012-13 NCAA Division II Athletic Directors Association Mentor Program, Bushnell had previously served as assistant athletic director; external pperations & student-athlete development in 2012.

In this role, Bushnell was responsible for the overall development and promotion of the Academy of Art University Athletic Department and well-being of the student-athletes. She managed all aspects of external relations including client services and customer relations, media relations, branding, ticket and concession sales, communications, marketing and promotions, game-day experience, apparel sales, Internet and multimedia rights.

A native of Connecticut and a 2003 High School All-American, Bushnell played lacrosse at the University of California, Berkeley. She resides in San Francisco and is a member of the inaugural Olympic Club Women's Lacrosse team and board member of the Big C Alumni Society.