Jason Bartelt has assumed a new role at Marian University as the Vice President for Student Life and Diversity and has stepped down as the Director of Athletics.
“It has been an absolute honor leading the athletic department the last eight years,” said Bartelt. “I want to thank all of the coaches and staff, especially Kathy Redig, for all of the hard work they have put in to support me and the growth of the athletic department. I also want to thank all of the student-athletes for sharing with me their college athletic experience. I appreciate all of their hard work as well in getting Marian athletics to a championship level.”
Bartelt assumed the position of Director of Athletics in the summer of 2016 and led the charge for unprecedented growth within the athletic department. Since becoming the head of the athletic department, Marian has added five NCAA Division III sports and four club programs bringing the Sabre athletic department to 26 total teams. Marian athletics added at least one new program every year to their varsity lineup since his introduction as the full-time director of athletics. The new NCAA programs introduced to Sabre athletics include men’s volleyball (2016), men’s lacrosse (2017), women’s lacrosse (2018), women’s bowling (2018), and field hockey (2021), while the addition of club sports includes ACHA Division II (2016), ACHA Division III (2019), men’s bowling (2018), and eSports (2020).
During his tenure in the full-time position, Marian athletics has sent 30 teams to the conference tournament. Of those 30 conference tournament teams, five come from programs that were established during his tenure. The Sabres have also had a pair of conference championships amongst the NCAA Division III programs with the Marian softball team claiming a title in 2016 and the Marian women’s bowling team earning their first title in 2021 in just their second year of existence. The Marian University men’s hockey team became the first program in the history of the athletic department to reach the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid during the 2017-18 season. The Sabres were then able to earn their first Harris Cup Championship last season for the first time since the 2001-02 season. Along with the success of the NCAA Division III programs, the club programs have been highly successful with the Marian ACHA Division II program claiming three Hap Cup Championships to go with four trips to the ACHA regionals, and a pair of National Tournament appearances.
With all of the team success during his tenure, there has also been several individual accolades. In total, there have been 10 Sabres named All-Region, four All-Americans, three Player of the Year recipients, and three Coach of the Year accolades during his tenure. The College Sports Information Directors of America All-American program is one of the most prestigious awards to receive as it is the only award that combines athletics and academics. From that program, two Sabres have been named All-District, and two have earned All-American status.
He also served as an instrumental piece to the partnership with the Fond du Lac Dock Spiders and Marian University. The Dock Spiders are a collegiate summer league baseball team that competes in the Northwoods League, one of the premier summer leagues in the entire nation. With the partnership, Herr-Baker Field, the home of Marian University baseball, saw an expansion that included improved seating, a new locker room, patio area, updated concourse, and picnic areas. The partnership has proven to be beneficial for not only the Marian University community with the new internship opportunities for students but the city of Fond du Lac as a whole.
Prior to becoming the Director of Athletics, Bartelt served as the head coach of the baseball program for 15 seasons. While at the helm of the baseball program, Bartelt led the Sabres to 258 wins and helped transition the program from the Lake Michigan Conference to the Northern Athletics Conference. Marian had five seasons with at least 20 wins and seven seasons with a record of .500 or better. Bartelt led the program to their first NACC Championship in 2015 after leading the Sabres to a 17-3 record in NACC games. Marian would qualify for the LMC Tournament five times and the NACC postseason three times under his guidance.
Bartelt will remain heavily involved with athletics as his new role will serve as the department head for the Sabre athletic department.
Tony Draves has been elevated to the Interim Director of Athletics and will assume the day-to-day operations of the position.
“I’d like to thank Jason Bartelt and Dr. Majewski for the opportunity to lead the athletic department,” said Draves. “I’m looking forward to working with our talented and dedicated staff to improve upon all the growth and positive steps we’ve taken under Jason.”
Draves is the winningest coach in Marian softball history and has served his role as the head coach of the program since 2015. The Sabres have had a winning season in all but his first season at the helm including a 27-win season in 2017 that remains the second-winningest season in the NACC era. Draves also led the Sabres to their first NACC Championship in 2018 after Marian went 17-5 in NACC play. He would go on to earn his first NACC Coach of the Year award as a result. Marian has had four All-Region selections including the program’s first All-American in Ally Fox in 2019.
“I know Tony will do a great job in leading the department and I look forward to watching the department continue to grow and be successful in the tough NCAA conferences we compete in,” said Bartelt.
Prior to being named the head coach, Draves also served as the assistant for the program for 12 years. In his first season on staff, Marian won the 2003 Lake Michigan Conference title and qualified for the NCAA tournament. The following season, the Sabres won the 2004 regular-season crown with a 10-2 league record.
He also previously served on the coaching staff of the Marian men’s basketball program for 14 seasons including the 2013-14 campaign that saw Marian claim their first NACC Championship and earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament.