October 13, 2021

Dear Members of the HWS Community,

I write to share news regarding our colleagues in athletics. Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics and Recreation Deb Steward has announced her intention to retire next month. I have appointed Associate Director for Athletics and Recreation and Director of Athletic Compliance Brian Miller to succeed Deb. (Click here to read the full announcement) Soon we will gather to celebrate all that Deb has accomplished during her 33-year career as both a coach and an administrator, but today I offer some highlights regarding her tremendous efforts on behalf of the Herons and Statesmen.

Deb joined the Colleges’ community in 2005 as William Smith Director of Athletics. She has been a steadfast mentor and advocate for Heron student-athletes and coaches, bringing national renown to William Smith. In addition to the tremendous academic and athletic success of William Smith teams under her leadership, Deb was twice named Administrator of the Year, first by the Eastern College Athletic Conference in 2014 and then by Women Leaders in College Sports three years later.

In 2020, Deb took on the leadership of both the Hobart and William Smith Athletic Departments, where she brought that same passion and dedication to her new role, steering our athletes and coaches through the challenges created by COVID-19 and into a successful full return to play this fall. Deb’s leadership also resulted in the record-breaking HWS Athletics Day of Donors this past spring. It’s hard to overstate her impact on these Colleges and our students, and she will be deeply missed.

I am incredibly grateful that Brian Miller has agreed to take over for Deb. In Brian, the Colleges have a truly exemplary leader, and I have every confidence that Brian has the skills, experience and energy necessary to build on Deb’s legacy of leadership and success. Brian has been at HWS since 2009, serving as NCAA Compliance Coordinator, Associate Athletic Director and Interim Director of Hobart Athletics. His loyalty to our athletics programs is well known and I look forward to working closely with him as we support our current athletics program and add 12 new sports to the Colleges.


Joyce P. Jacobsen