Vice President for Athletics
Melody Cope was named Dowling College’s Vice President for Athletics on July 1, 2013. She is the fifth Athletic Director in school history and first female to hold the position. She previously served as Associate Vice President for Athletics and the Senior Woman Administrator for the Golden Lion’s.
Melody is dedicated to more than just building a great athletic program. Her mission is to lead a department that is committed to shaping future leaders and building champions in academics, athletics, in the community and in life. Instilling in Dowling’s student-athletes the understanding that they should serve as role models for other students; exemplifying achievement in their sports, in their studies and service on behalf of their community.
In her role as Associate Vice President, Cope was responsible for the areas of NCAA Compliance, Student Services, Sports Medicine and Campus Recreation. In the area of Compliance, she served as liaison with the NCAA and East Coast Conference as well as the College’s Office of Financial Aid, Office of the Registrar, Office of the Bursar and Office of Enrollment Services. In the area of Student Services, Cope was responsible for organizing educational workshops geared to enhance the overall college experience of the student-athletes within the department.
Cope was also involved in the planning and development of the Brookhaven field initiative. The $12.5 million complex which opened in the spring of 2008, is the home of the Golden Lions soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, baseball, and softball programs, and is one of the premier athletic facilities in the northeast. She was instrumental in the athletic department’s gender equity review process, which led to the addition of women’s soccer, women’s lacrosse, women’s field hockey and men’s cross country as NCAA sponsored varsity sports.
In addition to her work on campus, Cope has served as the ECC Softball Chair, Women’s Soccer Chair and Women’s Lacrosse Chair. She is active within the NCAA, serving as a facilitator at the NCAA Career in Sports Forum in 2012 and currently serves as a member of the NCAA Regional Advisory Committee for Division II Women’s Lacrosse.
Prior to Dowling College, Cope coached Division I softball at St. John’s University (1999–2004) and at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1991-1997). In 2014, she was inducted into the University of North Carolina Greensboro Athletic Hall of Fame. While at the helm, Cope led UNCG to a 220-129-3 record. She is the all-time leader in wins in UNCG history and helped the Spartans to four consecutive Big South tournament championships along with four appearances in the NCAA Tournament. Under her tutelage, the Spartans posted 15 First Team All-Conference selections, 14 All-Tournament selections and two Player of the Year recipients. She was named the Big South Coach of the Year in 1997.
Cope received her M.A. in Physical Education from Gardner Webb University in 1991 and her B.A in Physical Education from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 1987. While at UNCW, she was a member of the softball team.
A native of Fayetteville, NC, Cope currently resides in Oakdale, NY.