Villa Maria College has announced the appointment of Don Silveri as director of athletics for the college’s recently announced sports program. Silveri will bring his 38 years of experience as an administrator and coach to re-build the program, while also serving as head coach of the men’s basketball team, where his own coaching career began nearly 40 years ago.
Announced in January, Villa’s athletics program will have students competing in inter-collegiate men’s and women’s soccer and basketball this fall. Soon after the college plans to apply for NCAA Division III membership and join a regional conference to compete against other local Division III schools such as Medaille College, Hillbert College, and D’Youville College.
“Don brings some earned credibility to our new program, both with his connection to our history and with the relationships he’s built throughout his career,” Brian Emerson, vice president of enrollment management and student services said.
Since it was his first coaching job, Silveri said he has a soft spot in his heart for Villa, and that is one of the reasons for his return.
“It’s an exciting challenge to move into NCAA Division III, and I’m looking forward to meeting that challenge,” he said.
Most recently Silveri served as head coach for men’s basketball at Daemen College for 25 years, while spending 12 of those years as Director of Athletics. Under his guidance, Daemen’s athletic department expanded from two sports to a full 14-sport program, and the men’s basketball team collected over 400 wins including five conference championships and five national tournament appearances.
Prior to his time at Daemen, Silveri was the head men’s basketball coach at Erie Community College, leading the Kats to NJCAA national tournament three times in his four year tenure. He spent 1980 to 1982 working under local coaching legend Dick Bihr at Buffalo State College, and was head coach of Villa’s men’s basketball team from 1976 to 1980.
Silveri is one of Western New York’s winningest coaches, with 584 career collegiate victories and receiving six NAIA Division II conference “Coach of the Year” awards.
A private, co-educational, Catholic college, Villa Maria provides the premiere student-centered experience in Western New York. Students learn and grow with a culturally diverse population and a culture that lives its values of truth, charity, and unity.