Patricia Hughes, who has worked in college athletics as both a coach and an administrator for over 20 years, was hired as Director of Athletics at Salem College on September 1, 2017.
Hughes came to Salem after spending two years with Lake Norman Soccer Club as the Director of Operations and Director of the Academy. Prior to her stint with LNSC, she developed an array of experiences at NCAA Division I and II colleges.
Her most recent college stop was at the University of New Haven where she served as Associate Director of Athletics for Internal Operations. Hughes served in multiple roles at New Haven and was responsible for contest management, game day operations, post-season tournament management, fiscal responsibility for ticket operations, game and official contracts, facility scheduling, special events/projects, summer camps, game day promotions and sport supervision of men's and women's soccer, women's lacrosse and the spirit teams.
Prior to New Haven, Hughes served as Assistant Athletic Director for External Relations at the University of Montevallo, where she coordinated community engagement, game environment, fundraising, ticketing, and special events. Hughes was a part of the administration at Montevallo beginning in 2004, where she served as Senior Woman Administrator and acted as the Falcons' Interim Athletic Director for the 2007-08 academic year.
Under Hughes' guidance, The University of Montevallo was recognized as the Peach Belt Conference winner and a national finalist for the 2013 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence, which recognizes a commitment to growth opportunities through academic achievement, learning in high-level athletics competition and development of positive societal attitudes in service to the community. The Peach Belt Conference additionally honored the University of Montevallo in 2009-10 and 2011-12 for its community engagement initiatives with Hughes overseeing the athletic department's outreach efforts.
Before she landed in athletic administration, Hughes spent 15 years coaching college women’s soccer. She was the head women's soccer coach at Montevallo from 2001-11 after coaching stops at Auburn University and Belmont University. While leading the Montevallo women’s soccer team, she was chosen by her peers as the Gulf South Conference and NSCAA South Region Coach of the Year in 2007, leading the Falcons to a conference championship and advancing to the NCAA National Quarterfinals.
Hughes has served on many committees over the years, on the national and conference levels, as well as at the colleges she has served. For five years, she was on the City of Montevallo Public Schools Advisory Board for Athletics and Activities. She is a member of Women Leaders in College Athletics as well as the Alliance of Women Coaches. She has also served two separate terms as the South Region Chair of the NCAA Division II Soccer Committee and as the Vice Chair and Chair of the NCAA Division II National Soccer Committee.
As a decorated student-athlete at Coker College (South Carolina), the NAIA recognized Hughes with All-America laurels in 1989 and 1991 and tabbed her as All-District in each of her four campaigns. She was also an NSCAA All-America selection in 1989 and a four-time NSCAA All-Region pick. The all-time scoring leader, male or female, in Coker history, Hughes became the first women's soccer student-athlete to be inducted into the Coker College Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
A native of Ireland, Hughes was a member of the Republic of Ireland Senior Women's National Team from 1985-91 and captained the U18 Republic of Ireland Women's National Team from 1985-87.
Hughes earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from Coker in 1995. She later received a Master of Education in Physical Education from Montevallo in 2001. She currently resides in Huntersville, NC with her partner and son Patrick.